Yahoo is acquiring the peer-to-peer (P2P) betting app Wagr for an undisclosed sum of money. The deal could make social betting accessible to Yahoo, and more specifically Yahoo Sports’, massive audience. But Yahoo’s track record with acquisitions of this sort suggests that adding sports betting to its product line-up may not necessarily be a slam dunk.
Wagr is a P2P betting app that also identifies itself as a social gaming app. Though most social gaming apps do not have a real money element, Wagr does allow for real money wagers. Though Wagr’s model is somewhat unclear (and its website is not active) it seems to be more of a betting exchange than a social gaming site like Luckyland Slots. It’s worth noting that the company’s promotional materials say, “Wagr was the first social sports betting operator to receive a license in the United States. They bring extensive experience in social mobile app development, user experience and community driven games.”
Whatever Wagr is, Yahoo has big plans for its acquisition. Company officials say that the app will be fully integrated into the massively popular Yahoo Sports page. But while Wagr seems like a promising company, there are a few potential bumps in the road for Yahoo. For starters, the company has an atrocious record for acquisitions. Most notably, the company purchased the micro-blogging site Tumblr in 2013 for $1.1 billion. Ten years later, a greatly diminished Tumblr sold for just $3 million.
While it’s unlikely that Yahoo threw $1 billion at Wagr, the company may find that harvesting cash from the US sports betting boom isn’t as easy as it looks.