Thursday, February 24, 2005

Flickr, Yahoo Deal Rumored

Om Malik reports:

Rumors are flying thick and fast in Silicon Valley: Yahoo is all set to buy Ludicorp, the company behind the hot photo blogging web service Flickr, for an undisclosed amount of money. Its not the first time rumors of these talks have made the rounds. Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake told my colleague Michael Copeland, that they had received buyout offers from both Google and Yahoo. (Read the story here. )

Google and Yahoo want to buy it outright, while venture capital firms are flooding it with all kinds of creative proposals. "We get four or five calls a week from VCs," says Stewart Butterfield, who co-founded Flickr with his wife, Caterina Fake. "We even had a health-care fund call recently. I guess they wanted in on the excitement."

Most of the deal-related chatter is coming from blogging world insiders who have said that Flickr might have inked the papers last week, but Yahoo is holding off on an announcement until March 1. At this point, it could all just be that--chatter. Yahoo's spokesperson said the company doesn't comment on rumors and speculation. In other words, take a hike. I could not reach Butterfield and Fake, the husband-wife team who started Flickr. I have dropped them an email, but have not heard back from either of them.

Flickr, which allows you to upload and share photos on the Internet, has been a big hit with the blogging community. Often described as "Friendster of photo blogging," Flickr allows folks to upload photos directly from their camera phones to the Flickr website. The service has inspired a whole slew of copycats. The service has more than 250,000 members and 3.5 million photos on its website.