Posts

Verizon has finalized its $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo Inc, reports The Wall Street Journal. The company is apparently set to announce the deal on Monday morning (US time), finally ending months of speculation.

The acquisition includes Yahoo’s core internet business and real estate, marking a significant fall for Yahoo, once a Silicon Valley pioneer with market capitalization of more than $125 billion at the height of the dot-com boom. Now it will reportedly be bought for less than a fraction of that price.

For New York based Verizon, the deal adds another piece to the digital media and advertising business the company is trying to build. Verizon plans to keep the Yahoo brand.

And why does a mobile telecom provider want to buy the core editorial business of a faded Internet portal? The short answer is advertising. – Fortune

In a nutshell, Verizon is interested in buying Yahoo’s ad and content businesses for the same reason it acquired AOL last year for $4.4 billion. And that is to build the kind of scale that’s necessary to make money from digital advertising on mobile devices, as growth in the traditional telecom business slows.

“Verizon is trying to pivot its business from analog to digital,” analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson told the Wall Street Journal. “Verizon believes that a combined AOL/Yahoo would provide the digital advertising platform they need to execute their video reinvention strategy.”

Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, is unlikely to have a prominent role under Verizon. She stands to make more than $50 million in compensation if terminated as a result of the acquisition.

Verizon has been a front-runner since the bidding of Yahoo began in April this  year, with a market capitalization of approximately $228 billion. Its digital media arm also includes AOL properties, in which Verizon acquired in 2015 for $4.4 billion.

AOL is another company that couldn’t bounce back after the dot-com crash.

Verizon’s initial competition came primarily from private-equity firms such as Bain Capital, Vista Equity Partners and TPG and Advent International Inc. The company is building a portfolio of online content and aiming to monetize it via advertising. Its current assets include Huffington Post and TechCrunch, which was acquired in the AOL deal. The acquisition of Yahoo will bring in millions more views from popular Yahoo sites such as Finance and Sports.

Google and Facebook will account for more than half of the $69 billion US digital ad market this year. Yahoo’s share is expected to be 3.4% and Verizon properties to hold a small 1.8% share of the market.

Yahoo will also need to decide on the fate of Yahoo Japan Corp, majority-owned by Softbank Group Corp. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, considered to make up the majority of Yahoo’s $36 billion market value today.

Update: Verizon’s $4.83 billion acquisition of Yahoo has been confirmed by Reuters.

A version of this appeared in The Wall Street Journal on July 24. Read the full version here.

iFashion Group, Singapore-based platform, has announced the acquisition of online fashion store Dressabelle for $5.5 million, reports Deal Street Asia.

iFashion Group covers varied market segments from offline to online ventures in Southeast Asia. Their ventures include:

  • Invade: Real-Time retail booking system with over 35,000 retailers
  • Flea Where: Flea market organization
  • Space Invasion: Pop-up retail concept with a collection of labels

iFashion Group only has presence in Singapore, and Dressabelle has a strong presence in Malaysia and Indonesia with annual revenue run rate of $3.24 million. It is not surprising then, that iFashion Group has Southeast Asian expansion plans in the pipeline.

By joining the iFashion Group, Dressabelle now has a wider product selection and looks forward to forming exciting collaborations with other brands under iFashion.

Aside from regional expansion, Dressabelle customers can expect more frequent collection launches, a wider selection of clothes and collaborative projects under iFashion Group’s management. Dresssabelle’s acquisition suggests that following the ecommerce trends for 2016, companies are choosing to acquire companies rather than build a whole new platform.

A version of this appeared in Deal Street Asia on July 19. Read the full version here.

Alibaba Buys Android App Store Wandoujia

Wandoujia is the Chinese equivalent of an Android iTunes Store. Source: Wandoujia.com

In what seems to be a very busy few weeks for Alibaba, the company made headlines once more for acquiring ‘Wandoujia’, one of China’s most prominent app stores, reported by Tech Crunch.

Media speculated that the deal was worth approximately $200 million. Although a significant amount, it seems small when compared to Baidu’s $1.9 billion acquisition of Android app store 91 Wireless in 2013, which claims its position as China’s top android app store.

In 2014, Wandoujia was valued at $1 billion, but the company has since faced increasing competition from 91 Wireless and Qihoo 360. Reports of internal conflict within the company contributed to its shortcomings and development over the past two years.

Wandoujia's homepage on internet explorer

Wandoujia’s homepage on internet explorer

Wandoujia is currently the fifth largest app store in China, claiming 6% of marketshare.

The site offers mobile based content and products beyond apps. The acquisition means that Wandoujia will become an integral part of Alibaba’s mobile division, which includes browser-maker UC Web. With the company’s resources, the app store will have the chance to be a key distribution platform to engage Chinese consumers through mobile.

Independent app stores have flourished in China thanks to the blockage of Google services.

Google’s search engine and the Play Store is not available in China. The missing gap means that a lot of independent local companies can infiltrate a less dominated market. It also means that these companies have become the point of contact for international developers or startups whose eyes are on entering China.

A version of this article was published in Tech Crunch on July 7. Read the full version here.