Yahoo buys another startup, hires another new exec

It’s not as big as Tumblr, at least not in value, but Yahoo has snapped up yet another small tech company – PlayerScale, a Belmont startup that makes software infrastructure for mobile games.

No price was disclosed, and it’s a sure bet that Yahoo isn’t paying anywhere near the $1.1 billion in cash that it’s laying out for Tumblr, a social blogging service that Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer is hoping will help her company regain some of its cool.

Mayer’s been on an acquisition spree in recent months, snapping up at least ten other small companies, most of them involved in developing online services for smartphones and tablets.

But as the deal-watchers at VentureBeat point out, this one is a little different:  Many of Yahoo’s smaller deals have been aimed at acquiring technology and/or talent, and the companies themselves have been shut down so their services could be folded into Yahoo’s.  In the case of PlayerScale, however, CEO Jesper Jensen blogged Thursday that his company will continue to operate as before:

With Yahoo!’s backing, we can crank out awesome products and improvements to our platform faster than ever before. We will continue to support our existing product and deliver new services to help you grow and manage your success in cross-platform gaming — whether it’s casual, social or mobile.

That makes sense, since PlayerScale provides components – from payments processing and chat tools to business analytics – used in games that it says are played by over 150 million people worldwide.

But the deal also underscores Mayer’s determination to make Yahoo a force in the mobile world.

And in other Yahoo news today, All Things D notes that Mayer has hired a former U.S. Navy submarine officer turned McKinsey consultant as senior VP of global operations. New exec John DeVine will report to another recent Mayer hire: Chief Operating Officer COO Henrique De Castro.




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