The partnership means LookSmart users will have access to the portable
START Corp. Web technology on LookSmart.com.au. START’s free e-mail
service will be the first product on offer, with other products due to be
integrated into the site throughout the coming year.
LookSmart users will also have free access to the latest in Web based
communication including instant messaging.
“This partnership is unique in the local industry and puts us in a position to
dominate the market,” said Tim Pethick, chief executive officer of LookSmart Australia and VP International. “As LookSmart and START are both Top 20 Web properties, joining forces will extend our reach dramatically and enable us
to offer more Australian Internet users world-class online services.”
“There is an extremely synergistic fit between START and LookSmart,” said
Bardia Housman, co-director of START. “Both companies have strong revenue
models, large user bases and complementary core product offerings; a
critical combination for expanding both the breadth and depth of our
respective customer bases.”
“Both LookSmart and START have built-in wholesale distribution in their
technology and business models, which means our combined product will
become one of the most competitive in the local and international markets.”
While this equity investment will give LookSmart a majority share in START
Corp., each organisation will remain autonomous with the current
management of START remaining in place.
Following the recent announcement of LookSmart’s joint venture to create
and distribute portal services throughout Europe and Asia with
communications powerhouse British Telecommunications, an international
rollout of the combined START/LookSmart product through the joint venture
is being explored.