Yahoo Makes This Big Fantasy Sports Acquisition

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The Bignoggins fantasy sports mobile startup app has been purchased by Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) for an undisclosed amount as Yahoo looks to update and expand its mobile computing options.

Bignoggins is essentially a one-man enterprise run by founder Jerry Shen. Shen began working on the app as a side project while employed as a software engineer in the defense industry but quit his corporate job when he started making more money from the popular Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone app.

Shen never hired any outside employees or took outside funding, and his app grew to become the number one paid sports app on the iTunes store. Bignoggins is the company behind Fantasy Monster and Draft Monster, which allow users to manage multiple fantasy teams in one app, aggregate data, access stats, edit lineups, search for players, conduct trades, and stay on top of all major sports news.

Yahoo is already one of the biggest fantasy sports providers, and will use Bignoggins’s ideas and technology to grow its user base. There were an estimated 35 million fantasy sports players in the U.S. and Canada in 2010, and the market is valued at $5 billion per year. Fantasy sports sites are popular and pull in revenue both from advertising and user fees.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been working to expand Yahoo’s mobile presence and make the search engine more popular among younger users through a string of recent acquisitions including popular blogging site Tumblr.

“After many years as a free agent, I’d like to officially announce that Yahoo! has picked me up off waivers. I’m excited to join a team of all-stars to take fantasy sports to the next level. I’ve been playing Yahoo! Fantasy  since high school, and have wanted to work here since college, so this is really a dream come true for me,” Shen said in a blog post about his decision.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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