Yahoo Has an Eye on New Startup Prize: Imgur

Stamped Yahoo Marissa Mayer

Known for her interest in acquiring startups, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer is rumored to be on the prowl again, and this time, insider sources say she wants Imgur. Business Insider reports that Yahoo executives are in serious talks with representatives from the photo-sharing site. The Sunnyvale, California-based tech giant already owns the rights to image hosting site Flickr, but Mayer now reportedly wants Imgur, too, and she may soon be ready to hand over the funds to acquire it.

Imgur, based in San Francisco, was created in 2009 by Alan Schaaf, a student at Ohio University in Athens. He developed the site with the intention of giving “a gift to Reddit” because he was frustrated with other photo-sharing sites, but what started out as a favor has transformed into a modestly profitable 10-person business, and one that Mayer is interested in acquiring.

Schaaf explained to the Reddit community upon initially developing Imgur: “I got fed up with all the other image hosts out there so I made my own. It doesn’t force you to compress your images, and it has neat things like crops, resize, rotate, and compression from 10-100. It’s my gift to you. Let’s not see anymore imageshack/photobucket around here ;)

Schaaf clearly had simply intentions, but Business Insider reports that his site has now actually grown larger than its inspirer, Reddit, and it has breached the 100 million user benchmark, up from 30 million at the beginning of 2012. Imgur’s office is now relatively near Yahoo’s, but unlike the tech giant, the company is not exactly as sophisticated. It generates revenue through ads, memberships, and its new product, sponsored images, but one of its most impressive clients, Yahoo, clearly sees the potential it holds and is readying to flesh it out.