Well, kind of.
The tech world reeled when Yahoo announced in May that it would buy Tumblr, the weblogs platform favored by those tech-savvy young ‘uns, for a total of $1.1 billion.
Five intriguing tidbits about the deal came out in Yahoo’s quarterly financial documents, which landed last night.
Most eye-popping: Yahoo bought Tumblr for $990 million (the remainder of the billion-plus total goes to founder David Karp and other Tumblr employees), and an incredible $751 million of that value was attributed to “goodwill.”
Goodwill is an accounting term for the worth of an intangible asset blahblahblah, and in this case it means brand value. So 75% of Tumblr’s value lies in its cool factor. (More details in our main CNNMoney story here.)
It’s no secret that Yahoo could use an injection of cool. Plus, Tumblr captures users in two fields — social and mobile — that Yahoo is looking to grow.
But Tumblr might even be the luckier one in this deal, as the 10-Q docs revealed the site was running out of money. Tumblr had less than $17 million in cash on hand when Yahoo bought it.
Stripping out its goodwill value, Tumblr had only $353 million in other assets, as well as liabilities of almost $114 million.
Founder Karp — who will get $81 million in stock-based comp and cash as long as he stays at Yahoo for four years — said in the past that advertising “turns our stomachs.” But Tumblr began to soften on that point recently.
And anyway, being bought for a billion dollars usually forces one to change one’s mind on such things.
Indeed, even as Mayer assured Tumblr users that the site will maintain its independence, she also promised analysts back in May that Yahoo will “monetize” Tumblr. After all, these cat gifs were expensive! -Julianne