December 4, 2013
Ptch Movie Making App Finds New Home At Yahoo
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Yahoo! announced its latest acquisition on Tuesday. The media portal and web directory acquired Ptch, a startup that developed a mobile app that allows users to combine photos and videos on mobile handsets to create mini-movies.Ptch was incubated by DreamWorks Animation and was positioned as a social media application to allow users to create very stylized short videos. The app enables users to remix the videos with effects and music, and to even offer up clips that could be mashed up with other short videos. These so-called “ptches” could then be shared via the Ptch network, or on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
“We acquired the company, which includes the people and the technology they built,” a Yahoo! spokeswoman said via email to PC World.
Ptch co-founder Hans Ku also confirmed that it had been acquired by Yahoo! via blog.
“We launched Ptch just over a year ago,” Ku posted. “Our passion and our mission was to give you the best way to make and share beautiful movies made from the photos and videos on your phone. Well, someone noticed!
“Today, we’re excited to announce that Ptch will be joining Yahoo! As part of the Yahoo team, we’ll be able to focus our efforts and leverage our technology to make Yahoo’s photo and video platforms the best in the world,” the company’s blog post added.
As part of this transition Ptch also announced it will shut down its own service on January 2, 2014. Users will be able to download the ptches or save these to a camera roll from the Ptch app.
According to TechCrunch, the company had employed around 20 people last year, and about one third of them had come from DreamWorks, while the remainder had come from outside places such as Yahoo! and MySpace.
Ptch appears to have had a short run as an independent company. It was only launched a little more than a year ago and its CEO, Ed Leonard, had been DreamWorks’ chief technology officer.
“I felt so strongly about the company I decided to leave Dreamworks,” Leonard told Cnet last July. “I was excited to jump in with both feet.”
“We really see this as a platform for living media,” he added.
Now it appears that Leonard will be heading to Yahoo!, but as TechCrunch also noted, “there’s no word on where this leaves DWA (DreamWorks Animation) investments, the separate company that was funded by DreamWorks, [but] since it’s equity-owned by the employees, it seems like it would go along with the acquisition, likely to be dissolved.”
This is just the latest acquisition from Yahoo!, which has been looking to increase its talent in the mobile app design and development space mainly through the purchase of startups and up-and-coming firms.
This announcement comes just a day after Yahoo! announced that it bought SkyPhrase, a natural language software startup. It was reported that Yahoo! will likely incorporate the speech recognition technology into its core products.
This is not Yahoo’s only acquisition in the mobile video creation space. Last July the company purchased Qwiki, a New York company that developed an app that allowed users to turn photos and videos into short, edited movies.
While the terms of the Ptch deal have not been disclosed, it was reported that Yahoo! paid nearly $50 million for Qwiki.