RealTime IT News

CMGI Takes Stake in Netcentives

CMGI Inc. Monday took a 4.9 percent stake in software firm Netcentives Inc. and the two companies established an online loyalty program.

Netcentives (NCNT) agreed to become the infrastructure provider for CMGI's (CMGI) up-and-coming points program, in which people are rewarded for conducting transactions on CMGI network sites.

The points program will roll out with AltaVista this May. Other CMGI network businesses, from both the operating group and the CMGI @Ventures portfolio of companies, are expected to follow shortly.

"This is a truly viral opportunity for CMGI network companies to improve the online experience for their own individual customer bases, while driving traffic and new customer acquisition opportunities to their CMGI sister companies," said David Wetherell, CMGI's chairman and chief executive officer. "Netcentives' patented technology platform and marketing expertise will be the backbone that helps enable our companies to develop rewarding one-to-one relationships with their customers."

The deal is the latest in a series of B2B plays and investments for CMGI, who two weeks ago invested about $168 million in magazine publisher Primedia. Earlier in March, the incubator formed a $1.5 billion venture fund with Hicks Muse Tate & Furst and Pacific Century CyberWorks.