updated 07:50 pm EDT, Tue August 12, 2014
Recommendation system gathers data to suggest venues based on location 'stations'
Yahoo continues its trend of buying up startups with the news that the search company has acquired Zofari. Zofari, which is positioned to be the Netflix or Pandora for local recommendations, announced on its website that the startup was acquired by Yahoo to work an undisclosed project. The purchase went relatively unnoticed until TechCrunch reported on it earlier today.
"While we've built an experience we couldn't be more proud of, we're a small company and have always dreamed of reaching users at a greater scale," said the Zofari team. "After meeting some of the amazing folks on the Yahoo Search team and hearing about their vision, the decision for our team to join Yahoo was an easy one."
Zofari takes a different approach to recommendation customization, using data from various sources, including machine learning and natural language processing, to create "stations" for similar venues in the area based on favorites that have been input. A "station" changes whenever a user moves out of the area, giving people a new way to explore the nooks and crannies of their town or travel destinations.
For the time being, Zofari is still accessible through its apps on Android and iOS, as well as the web. It is unknown how long the website and apps will remain functional, as Yahoo has a tendency to shut down the startups it acquires. Yahoo is generally more interested in the talent behind the companies than the products they produce. The amount of the acquisition wasn't disclosed.
The four-member team of Zofari said they were unable to talk about what they'd be doing at Yahoo. However, they said that they are "very, very excited."