Yahoo has acquired Blink, a mobile application that allows users to share messages that self-destruct, in order to poach the talent behind it.
The app will reportedly be shut down in the coming weeks so that Blink's seven-person team can work on Yahoo's "smart communication" products.
This includes former Google employees Kevin Stephens and Michelle Norgan, who founded Meh Labs, the start-up that created Blink.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Blink made the announcement on their website, saying they "look forward to the possibilities that will come from bringing the Blink vision to Yahoo".
"We built Blink because we believe everyone should be free to show the same honesty and spontaneity in their online conversations as they can in person."
Yahoo has reportedly bought 40 start-ups since chief executive Marissa Mayer took over two years ago in an attempt to revamp the internet company.
It has been looking to generate more mobile content and advertising revenues as an increasing number of people use tablets and smartphones.
Blink has been competing against established rivals in private messaging such as Snapchat, and newer entrants like Confide and Wickr.
Its users can exchange texts, photos and videos that can only be viewed within a certain period of time before it self-deletes. A timer starts after the recipient taps their screen to open the message.
Messaging applications have been a popular target for larger, established internet companies looking to expand their product offerings.
Snapchat, which specialises in disappearing photos, reportedly received a multi-billion dollar offer from Facebook last year.
Facebook went on to create a similar app called Poke, which was discontinued last week.
The social networking giant also purchased popular messaging app Whatsapp for $19bn (£11.4bn) in February.
That same month, Japanese firm Rakuten bought free messaging app Viber for $900m.