RealTime IT News

Lycos Acquisition Spree Continues

The Web portal's strategy to build the most comprehensive community-focused site on the Net moves to the next level with the acquisition of WhoWhere? Inc. for $133 million in stock, the companies announced today.

Lycos, Inc. said the acquisition will greatly expand its audience reach, which it says reaches 31%, according to June, 1998, Media Metrix figures. The Lycos network now includes lycos.com, angelfire.com, whowhere.com, mailcity.com and tripod.com.

The WhoWhere? purchase also supports the Lycos community-oriented vision, which began with its Tripod acquisition in the beginning of the year. In addition, with the portal's Angelfire buy, Lycos said it owns two of the top three community sites on the Web.

Lycos' strategy of incorporating search, directory and community services in one network is producing results: the company said that since acquiring Tripod, the site has twice as many members, with 1.8 million registered users. The portal also reported that the Angelfire user base has surged to 1.3 million members this year.

The Mountain View, CA company, according to Lycos, is the third largest directory on the Web, and is the only directory of the top three to increase its 1998 figures, with a 15% increase in reach. WhoWhere's Web-based community-building applications includes its directory, offering e-mail Address Lookup, Communities Advanced Search, Phone and Address Lookup, Personal Home Page Lookup, Companies Online, EDGAR filings and People in U.S. Government.

Other WhoWhere? features include MailCity, its universal free e-mail service, with 9.3 million registered users in 1998. In additon, WhoWhere? provides communication applications, personal homepages and a co-branding program.

"By acquiring WhoWhere and bolstering our position as a premier media company, Lycos has leapfrogged our competitors and set the standard for portals," said Bob Davis, president and CEO of Lycos, Inc. "A strong online community is essential to providing visitors with a rich Web experience and is a key differentiator of the Lycos network. We expect our community foundation will continue to drive extraordinary user loyalty and growth, making us the first choice for advertisers and commerce partners."

Plans call for WhoWhere? to continue operations in California. Internet companies using WhoWhere services include Barnes and Noble, DejaNews, iVillage, Mindspring, PC World and Ziff Davis.

Last week Lycos bought GuestWorld, an online guestbook provider, which will be incorporated into the Tripod site.