Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) has acquired Rockmelt, a venture capital-backed startup focused on developing Web browsing technology, in a deal reportedly valued at between $60 million and $70 million. Although Rockmelt’s browser did not develop a huge following, its creators are considered gifted and well-connected entrepreneurs.
The deal follows a steady stream of startups bought by Marissa Mayer since she left Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) to become CEO of Yahoo in July 2012. (For more, see "10 Startups Marissa Mayer Bought Before Tumblr")
In July, Yahoo announced the purchase of Qwiki Inc., a mobile application that enables users to create videos on Apple Inc.’s iPhone. (Nasdaq: AAPL).
In June, Yahoo closed the $1.1 billion purchase of New York blogging service Tumblr Inc., which ranks as Yahoo fourth-biggest acquisition and the biggest deal the company has made under Mayer. With it, Yahoo gained Tumblr founder David Karp, a well-respected 26-year-old entrepreneur.
With Rockmelt, Yahoo secures Tim Howes, formerly of Netscape, and Eric Vishria, formerly of OpsWare. (Both Netscape and OpsWare were founded by entrepreneur-turned-investor Marc Andreessen.) Howes will reportedly head up engineering for Yahoo’s mobile products, and Vishria will serve as vice president for media products.
Founded in 2009, Mountainview, Calif.-based Rockmelt raised $40 million from venture capital firms Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital and Khosla Ventures and angel investors Bill Campbell, Ron Conway and Diane Greene.