Feature Article

December 05, 2012

Yahoo Acquires OnTheAir, Adds Team to Mobile Division

Video chat start up OnTheAir was recently acquired by Yahoo in what many speculate is part of the company's move toward the mobile market. Indeed, OnTheAir is simply the latest in what may prove to be a string of mobile acquisitions from Yahoo, as the company's new CEO Marissa Mayer attempts to get the company back on track via the lucrative mobile market.

Mayer announced her plans for Yahoo in September shortly after replacing former interim CEO Tim Morse with a new chief financial officer, Ken Goldman.

Image via Shutterstock

OnTheAir's official website has currently been replaced with an announcement of the acquisition from the company's team — made up of alums from Apple, Google, and Facebook — which concludes with a succinct thank you list. The announcement also states that the OnTheAir team is as committed as ever to making a "widespread daily use product."

"When we first met with the team at Yahoo, it was clear that everybody there is committed to making mobile products the backbone for the world’s daily habits," reads the statement. "All in all, it’s a fascinating time to be joining Yahoo. There’s a tremendous amount of energy in the company. There are big things to be done and great products to be built, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it."

The OnTheAir platform exited stealth mode earlier this year in March — backed by $880,000 in seed funding led by IronPort’s Scott Banister and About.Me’s Tony Conrad via True Ventures — and immediately started getting compared to Google Hangouts. However, while Hangouts only allows a limited number of viewers to participate in a live stream, with OnTheAir, anyone watching a live stream can video chat with the host in front of the entire viewing audience.

It is known that the OnTheAir team is joining Yahoo's mobile division, but no other details of the acquisition were made public.

In October, Yahoo purchased Stamped, a mobile start up, whose iPhone app allows users to share their recommendations for movies, books, restaurants, music and much more.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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