Yahoo buys Indonesian startup

Internet pioneer adds location-based services to its portfolio with acquisition of Indonesian startup Koprol.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Aiming to expand its presence in the emerging markets, Internet giant Yahoo announced Tuesday that it has acquired Indonesia's location-based services startup Koprol.

In a statement, Yahoo said it will be leveraging the Jakarta-based startup's user-generated community information to further localize its content for its products.

Rose Tsou, senior vice president, Asia Region at Yahoo, said in the statement: "Users are increasingly relying on mobile devices to communicate and access the Internet and they are looking for seamless integration between those devices and personal computers."

She added that the situation is particularly true in emerging markets, where the company is eager to expand its brand to new Internet users.

Koprol "works on any phone", not just smartphones, as users access the service through their mobile browsers. The startup's technology blends location-based conversations with a social city guide and cross-platform mobile applications .

A check of the company's FAQ page showed that the service has a "growing and well-moderated database of places". Apart from Foursquare-styled "check-in", users can review food outlets as well as hold threaded conversations and share various items such as photos. The service is able to push to Facebook and Twitter statuses.

According to a Koprol blog post, the entire team will be kept intact and join Yahoo in its plan to offer new mobile applications for both the local and global mobile platforms in the future.

The Koprol acquisition comes just after Monday's announcement of Yahoo's partnership with Nokia, where the phone company will bring its Navteq mapping service to the Internet company.

During her visit to Singapore, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said the company was looking to grow in Asia as well as the mobile area, which makes the acquisition of Koprol a fit.

Last month, Yahoo was reported to have courted Foursquare with "US$100 million-plus offers".

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