It looks like Yahoo! will be dishing out a chunk of its Alibaba cash for a stake in the pricey messaging game.

Yahoo! just spent a rumored $40 million to acquire MessageMe as it reportedly nears the close of a $20 million investment in Snapchat.

MessageMe represents the most recent purchase in the shopping spree for messaging services, but its price tag pales in comparison to the cash thrown down by Facebook for WhatsApp and Rakuten for Viber earlier this year.

This is the first time Yahoo! has expressed significant interest in the messaging space. Of Yahoo’s 114 acquisitions to date, advertising and social platform startups account for those snatched up most frequently.

Yahoo! should expect some major competition from Google, reported to be working on new mobile messaging app after losing WhatsApp to Facebook earlier this year. Google acquired messaging assistant Emu Messenger in early August, followed by mobile-focused startups Directr, Jetpac and Polar all within a two-month span.

Google Ventures sees promise in the future of messaging as well – the venture capital arm has invested a combined $24 million this year alone into early stage rounds for online and mobile chat platforms Secret, Cord Project, and MessageMe.

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Photo via Flickr user Kathleen Donovan

  • Originally published October 8, 2014, updated April 26, 2023