Archive for the ‘Yahoo’ Category

20130507-225904.jpg “Happier, healthier, more productive.” That was the
goal of mobile app Astrid, and now Yahoo is taking up
the mission as it’s just acquired the social
productivity platform. Co-founded by a former Palantir
engineer, Tim Su, AngelPad-backed Astrid says that
it has four million users, who as of September 2012 logged 30 million plans on the platform. Astrid, we have heard, had raised well over $1 million
from investors that included, in addition to AngelPad,
Google Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Jack
Herrick and TMT Ventures. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But we’ve
heard the price is “well over the amount you would
pay for an acqui-hire.” Yahoo has been putting a
strong emphasis on mobile in its future plans, making
several other acquisitions in the area, such as the
recent deal to buy Summly. Astrid not only gives Yahoo an existing base of mobile users, but also a
productivity platform that Yahoo will now be able to
scale out. On the hiring side, the whole of the team, which is
around 8-12 people, is joining Yahoo. That includes
Tim Su and his big data expertise as well as Jon
Paris, the co-founder and CEO, who before Astrid had
also founded another startup, Graceful Tools, an
event-planning site. (And before that, according to his CrunchBase entry, Paris had been a minister, with
one previous role including Campus Director for the
Stanford Chapter of InterVarsity, the Christian student
group.) As for the future of the app, “Over the next 90 days,
Astrid will continue to work as is, and we will no
longer be accepting new premium subscriptions,” the
company notes in a blog post announcing the news.
“To make future changes as easy as possible, we’ll
be in touch with users shortly to share how to download data.” It doesn’t say what else Astrid will be
doing after that. Yahoo has also provided us with a statement: “We’re
excited to welcome Astrid to Yahoo!’s mobile team.
Their background in personalized mobile experiences
is impressive, and we know they will be a huge asset
to as we continue to re-imagine our products,” said a
spokesperson. “We’re really excited to join the mobile team and
continue this work with Yahoo!’s goal of ‘making the
world’s daily habits more inspiring and entertaining,’”
Paris notes on behalf of the Astrid team in the blog
post. Launched back in 2008, Astrid was a pioneer in the
email management and to-do app space. Now it runs
on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and desktop and
mobile web. The app lets you create lists and
reminders, and share them with others. It also
integrates with Siri on iOS to add voice-based reminders. If some of Astrid’s technology does end up getting
used at Yahoo, the acquisition gives Yahoo a
potential lever to compete with apps like Mailbox,
Evernote and Wunderlist. On the email front, one of
the features that Astrid touts is that it can help users
clean up their inboxes in 30 minutes.

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The founder of a company acquired by Yahoo Inc for $270 million said in a lawsuit filed on Monday that Yahoo tried to “cheat” and “humiliate” him by firing him at a bar weeks before his first retention bonus was due.The plaintiff, Michael Katz, said he was promised several annual payments of $1.35 million, as well as other compensation, when his online advertising company Interclick was acquired by Yahoo in December 2011, according to the lawsuit filed in New York state court.
Katz continued to run the Interclick business after the acquisition, the lawsuit stated.
The complaint, which alleges breach of contract as well as other claims, comes roughly seven months into the tenure of new Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer, who is moving to revive Yahoo’s stagnant revenue and its popularity among consumers.
Mayer’s management was in the spotlight last month after news surfaced about a controversial new policy banning employees from working at home.
Mayer is not mentioned in the lawsuit, and Yahoo declined to comment on the case.
Yahoo acquired Interclick, whose technology helped companies target online ads to consumers, eight months before Mayer became CEO, when former Yahoo finance chief Tim Morse was serving as the company’s interim CEO. Katz served under several CEOs during his one year at the company, including interim CEO Ross Levinsohn who praised Katz as a “great visionary,” according to the complaint.
Yahoo had promised to pay Katz a “retention bonus” in three annual installments of $1.35 million, the lawsuit said, beginning in January 2013 and ending with a $450,000 payment in January 2016.
According to the lawsuit, Yahoo’s head of human resources summoned Katz to a bar for what he believed was a pressing work matter on a Sunday evening in December “while he was at home observing the second night of Hannukah.”
At the bar, Katz was informed that he was being terminated “effective almost immediately,” weeks before he was to be paid the first of the retention bonuses.
The “rushed termination clearly was structured and timed as an attempt to deprive him of the compensation he was promised during the merger negotiations,” according to the complaint.
The case in Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York is Michael Katz vs. Yahoo, case number 0650740-2013.