Yahoo Beats Snapchat to the Punch with MessageMe Acquisition

Alex Spencer

Yahoo MessageMeYahoo has acquired MessageMe, developer of an OTT messaging app, for an undisclosed sum – though TechCrunch reports that the deal is in the region of $30-40m (£19-25m).

Founded in 2012, MessageMe landed $10m in Series A funding last May. In the crowded messaging app market, there's not much to differentiate the company's offering, except a 'doodle' feature that lets users send hand-drawn messages to one another. Like many Asian services, it relies on 'stickers' sold as in-app purchases for revenue.

In its current form, the app will be shut down on 7 November, leaving the MessageMe team to work on creating 'mobile communications products' for Yahoo – perhaps meaning that the company might be plotting its own WhatsApp competitor, as Google was also rumoured to be doing last week.

Snapchat also showed interest in acquiring the company, according to TechCrunch. Snapchat offered a similar sum, but Yahoo wanted to hire more of the team and keep them together on a single project, which clearly proved more attractive to MessageMe.

In a strange coincidence of timing – or perhaps not – a report in The Wall Street Journal revealed that Yahoo is also considering investing in Snapchat to the tune of $20m. Given the messaging company's $10bn valuation back in July, this would presumably give Yahoo a stake of 0.2 per cent.