Yahoo buys up video recruiting platform Distill

Steven Loeb · February 14, 2014 · Short URL:

The Distill team was also behind Tapjoy, will help build out Yahoo’s mobile ad solutions

Yahoo, by its own admission, was late to the game when it came to mobile and it has been trying over the past two years to catch up. That has included beefing up capabilities and making mobile-first startup acquisitions

These efforts will all be for naught, though, if Yahoo cannot make money off of it, and that means advertising. There is little that can make investors happier these days than to get mobile ads right, just ask Facebook.

That is why Yahoo has made yet another startup purchase, this time scooping up Distill, a provider of a video interviewing and scheduling service for recruiters. Distill broke the news in a blog post on its homepage on Thursday. No terms of the deal were disclosed.

Ok, so I can you all scratching your heads already, wondering why I went on about mobile advertising when Distill seems to have almost nothing to do with it. That is because the team over at Distill, who will now be working at Yahoo, was also the team behind mobile performance-based advertising platform Tapjoy. And that expertise is what they will be bringing to their new company.

"We’ll be drawing upon our expertise from the Tapjoy days to help build out Yahoo’s mobile advertising solutions," the Distill team said in the post.

"I can confirm that we are hiring seven employees from Distill, all of whom are expected to join Yahoo in Sunnyvale next week," a Yahoo spokesperson told VatorNews.

"Prior to creating Distill, this group was part of the original team behind the creation of Tapjoy, a mobile performance-based advertising platform that drove deep engagement and monetization opportunities for mobile app publishers. At Yahoo, they’ll be drawing upon their expertise from the Tapjoy days to help us build out our mobile advertising solutions."

The San Francisco-based Distill was a service that lets employers identifying the best candidates to interview, and eventually to hire, by allowing them to evaluate their problem-solving skills through a collaborative video interviewing platform.

These interviews would involve interactive coding challenges, whiteboarding exercises, sales pitches, or case questions. 

The company raised $1.3 million in funding from Felicis Ventures, China’s Innovation Works and DN Capital in September. 

Distill, of course, will be shutting down on March 30. Development of Distill Schedule and Distill Interview has already been stopped, and users will still be able to schedule interviews through the end of February.

Yahoo has good reason to want to bring on a team with experience in mobile advertising because the company is seeing tremendous growth in that sector.

As of its most recent earnings report, Yahoo now sees 800 million monthly users, half of whom visit Yahoo from a mobile device.

“Our strategy is to proactively benefit from the platform shift to mobile,” Mayer said in an earnings call, noting that in 14 months, Yahoo added 150 million mobile users to hit a milestone of over 400 million mobile monthly users.

Yahoo's 2014 purchases

This is Yahoo's seventh purchase this year. 

 The company also bought Aviate, a replacement Android home screen launcher, mobile marketing startup Sparq and virtual gaming company Cloud Party. Yahoo also bought enterprise app studio Tomfoolery and Incredible Labs, the company behind mobile personal assistant app Donna. 

Just two days ago it bought Wander, the company behind blogging app Days.

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Tapjoy is the leading platform company for social and mobile applications. The company’s turnkey alternative payment platform enables developers to significantly increase their monetization rates when selling virtual goods or premium digital assets, while its cross-platform distribution services provide massive reach and cost-effective user acquisition on the leading social, mobile and gaming platforms. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Investors include Rho Ventures, Interwest Capital, North Bridge Venture Partners, and D. E. Shaw Ventures. For more information, visit