Aug 23, 2023 - Economy

Exclusive: Yahoo acquires social investing platform CommonStock

Photo illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Yahoo has acquired CommonStock, a social platform designed for retail investors to share insights based on information linked directly to their brokerage accounts, Yahoo Finance general manager Tapan Bhat told Axios.

Why it matters: The acquisition builds on Yahoo's strategy to transform Yahoo Finance into the premier, one-stop destination for retail investors.

Catch up quick: CommonStock launched in 2020, ahead of the pandemic-driven retail investing craze.

  • Because users can link their profiles directly to their brokerage accounts, they are able to share their portfolio's performance with friends and discuss their trades in real-time.
  • The company has raised around $34 million, according to CrunchBase. It's backed by a number of prominent venture capital firms and investors, including Bill Ackman, Ari Emanuel and Jill Carlson.

Details: CommonStock will be folded into Yahoo Finance's free and subscription products as a way to boost ad-supported engagement and Yahoo Finance subscriptions, Bhat said.

  • All of CommonStock's employees will move over to Yahoo Finance with the acquisition.
  • Bhat declined to comment on deal terms.

Be smart: Yahoo Finance has long been a leader in market data, news and analysis, both for professional and retail investors.

  • The CommonStock acquisition brings more utility to the retail investors using Yahoo Finance who are looking for community insights.
  • Because of the brokerage data linked to the traders' profiles on its platform, investors are able to filter crowdsourced insights from fellow retail investors with more accuracy.
  • Bhat said the deal gives Yahoo Finance's millions of monthly users an "extra filter of reputation, expertise, and help."

The big picture: The deal represents the first acquisition under the Yahoo Finance brand since Yahoo was bought by private equity firm Apollo Global Management in 2021.

  • Yahoo has made several targeted acquisitions over the past year to support its other brands since Apollo took control.
  • Last year it acquired Factual to add news credibility ratings to its vast pool of news content. In April it acquired Wagr to bring gaming opportunities to Yahoo Sports.

Between the lines: Under its new ownership and leadership, Yahoo has focused on four core assets: Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Sports.

  • Each asset has its own set of leaders and business objectives. Apollo is looking to invest in building those businesses, now that it's cleared all of Yahoo's debt off of its balance sheet.

The bottom line: "The unique blend of Yahoo's reach and CommonStock's expertise in creating retail investment communities is an incredibly powerful combination," CommonStock CEO and founder David McDonough said in a statement.

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