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.

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