Yahoo's pre-fireworks news: We're buying Xobni

With purchase of e-mail startup, Yahoo might be looking to take over your mobile phone from every possible angle, including where you store your contacts.

Rachel King Staff Writer
Rachel King is a staff writer for ZDNet based in San Francisco.
Rachel King
2 min read
Justin Sullivan

Yahoo can't seem to go one week without adding another startup to the portfolio.

Just before everyone takes off for Independence Day, the rejuvenated technology giant is making moves to acquire Xobni, a self-described "smart address book."

With products for Microsoft Outlook and Gmail, Xobni (or "inbox" spelled backwards) developed a platform that essentially aggregated everyone you have possibly contacted (whether it's via email, text message, phone call, etc.) and tried to unify and organize that data to provide more comprehensive contact files. Those files were also populated with updates from Facebook and Twitter.

Xobni also offered teams and enterprise subscription options for automatically managing emails, contacts, and folders with little to no IT help required.

The Xobni team confirmed the merger in a blog post on Wednesday, positing that Yahoo understands the startup's vision and benefits beyond just the "inbox or smartphone."

Xobni, which is based in San Francisco, will be moving its operations down to the Valley at Yahoo's headquarters in Sunnyvale.

While some current users (including existing business subscribers) will not be affected initially (or even until one year from now), a number of changes are going into effect immediately.

Xobni has an entire FAQ page for current and perhaps prospective customers ahead of today, explaining which products and features will continue to be available after today.

The most notable difference is that Xobni is no longer accepting new purchases of premium products. Furthermore, Smartr Contacts for Android and Xobni for BlackBerry are no longer available to download, signalling that these services are likely going to be folded into something else Yahoo is cooking up.

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, but AllThingsD reports that Yahoo is paying approximately $30 million to $40 million more for Xobni.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "Yahoo acquiring 'smart address book' Xobni."