Automattic Buys Tumblr for Pennies on the Dollar

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Automattic, the company behind WordPress, just bought Tumblr from Verizon for less than US$3 million. Verizon had acquired the site from Yahoo for US$1.1 billion.

As part of the deal, Automattic will gain 200 staffers from Tumblr. Verizon is said to have discussed a sale of Tumblr with a handful of different companies but ultimately landed on Automattic. “The sale price isn’t material to Verizon,” today’s report says citing “people familiar with the matter.”

Before you get excited, know that the porn ban will remain in place.

Apple Acquires Machine Learning Startup Laserlike

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Apple has acquired Laserlike, a young startup founded by three former Google engineers. It’s a machine learning startup that could help Apple improve its recommendation algorithms in News, TV, Apple Music, etc (paywall).

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the acquisition of the four-year-old startup, which was founded by three former Google engineers, Anand Shukla, Srinivasan Venkatachary and Steven Baker, and had raised more than $24 million from Redpoint Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures, according to CrunchBase. Terms of the deal could not be learned.

I look forward to getting better recommendations.