Yahoo's latest acquisition: P2P network PeerCDN

PeerCDN takes the strain on bandwidth servers, reducing cost and improving response times

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
December 17, 2013
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We all know that Yahoo went on what could only be described as an insane mission this year: to basically buy up all of the talent around Silicon Valley. But how impressive was the end result? Think about this: when averaged out, the company bought more than one start up every two weeks!

And, it still hasn't stopped its shopping spree.

That's right, with mere weeks left in the year, Yahoo has gone ahead and made its 27th start up acquisition of 2013. This time the company bought up PeerCDN, a peer-to-peer content delivery network, it was announced in a blog post posted on PeerCDN's homepage on Tuesday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it seems to be another acqui-hire, as a Yahoo spokesperson did tell VatorNews that three of the company's engineers have joined its media organization in Sunnyvale, California.

"The team has a solid background in domain expertise and a passion for video that makes them a perfect fit for Yahoo," the spokesperson said.

For the founders of PeerCDN, Feross Aboukhadijeh, Abi Raja, and John Hiesey, they said they found a partner in Yahoo that shared the same passion for giving users the best experience possible on the Web.

"We’ve found that they share our passion for excellent web experiences, as well as our love for web technologies like WebRTC, HTML5, and JavaScript," Aboukhadijeh, Raja, and Hiesey, wrote.

"We’re excited by the possibilities — together we’ll be able to create even more amazing web experiences."

PeerCDN is a service dedicated to reducing bandwidth costs, as well the strain that is put on company servers. It does this by serving the site's static assets, such as images, streaming videos, and file downloads, over a peer-to-peer network made up of the visitors currently on the site.

This, in turn, improves response times, as well as user satisfaction. With Yahoo offering more rich media content, especially when it comes to video, the expertise of the PeerCDN engineers to lower bandwidth and cost will certainly come in handy.

Yahoo's 2013 acquisition strategy

Buying up 27 start ups in a single year may seem, frankly, excessive, but there was method behind this madness, namely to get Yahoo up to seed on mobile, gaming and video. 

After its Q3 earnings report in October 2012, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said that mobile was not “only a daily habit, but a fundamental platform shift. A platform shift we have to ride and participate in order to be relevant.”

In other words: the company was going to be making a big effort to get into mobile. And that is exactly what it did this year, starting with social news start-up in January, location discovery app Alike in February, and continuing with news summarizer Summly and productivity app Astrid.

The company also bought social media web browser startup Rockmelt and email and address book management app Xobni to shore up its position in mobile.

The company also made a number of gaming acquisitions, including fantasy sports app Bignoggin; PlayerScale, which makes software infrastructure for cross-platform gaming; and game developer Loki Studios.

And finally there was video, which was a space the company paid a lot of attention to this year. It bought video app Qwiki, as well as photo and video sharing app Ptch and live concert streaming platform Evntlive. 

Of course, Yahoo did have its one big, giant purchase that made all the headlines: its $1.1 billion deal to buy up Tumblr.

Go here to see Yahoo's complete list of acquisitions this year.

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