In a blog post monday, Oyster founders said they are “taking steps to sunset” the company’s service, which launched in 2012. “Looking forward, we feel this is best seized by taking on new opportunities to fully realize our vision for e-books,” they wrote in the blog post.
The opportunities they’re talking about are with Google. A portion of the Oyster team will join Google Play Books. A rep for Google confirmed to Recode the news of acqui-hire, and CEO Eric Stromberg and co-founders Andrew Brown and Willem Van Lancker are part of the team joining Google. The company will pay investors, who put $17 million into Oyster, for the right to hire its staff.
So does Google want to launch its own version of Oyster’s e-book subscription? Google declined to comment, though the company has gone through similar acqui-hire processes before. If a service does launch, it’ll end up competing with Amazon’s, which launched their own book service in July 2014. The Oyster service never took off like Netflix or Hulu, however it was loved among the users who paid for it monthly.
Tell us if you’d subscribe to a $10 a month subscription service for books from Google in the comments below!