Yahoo to buy analytics startup Flurry to bolster mobile ad business

SAN FRANCISCO Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:22pm EDT

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer delivers her keynote address at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer delivers her keynote address at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 7, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith/Files

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) will buy mobile analytics startup Flurry to beef up a fast-growing mobile advertising business that still lags Google Inc's (GOOG.O) and Facebook Inc's (FB.O) in scale.

Six-year-old Flurry uses analytics to help target ads at consumers by monitoring activity on more than half a million apps on some 1.4 billion mobile devices around the world, Yahoo said in a statement on Monday.

The startup provides information to help marketers and brands more easily reach their desired audiences, Yahoo said.

Yahoo did not cite a price tag, but a source familiar with the matter said the Internet company is paying several hundred million dollars. Tech blog re/code earlier reported that rough amount.

Flurry will operate much as before after the acquisition closes, and its team will remain in their current locations, Yahoo added.

Yahoo is trying to revitalize a stagnant online advertising business as Chief Executive Marissa Mayer marks her second anniversary at the Internet company.

The former Google executive has revamped many of Yahoo's Web products but its ad sales are still weak while rivals such as Google and Facebook continue to post strong, double-digit revenue growth.

Like its rivals, it has been investing in its mobile advertising platform, as users increasingly access the Internet from smartphones and tablets. Its mobile advertising revenue more than doubled in the second quarter.

But mobile advertising typically commands lower rates than online. Revenue in Yahoo's display advertising business decreased 8 percent to $436 million in the second quarter.

The average price per ad decreased 24 percent, while the number of display ads sold increased 24 percent.

(Reporting by San Francisco newsroom; Editing by Richard Chang and Cynthia Osterman)

FILED UNDER: