A screenshot of Lycos.com
Lycos is a search engine and web portal established in 1994. Lycos also encompasses a network of email, webhosting, social networking, and entertainment websites.
Lycos began as a research project by Michael Loren Mauldin of Carnegie Mellon University in 1994. Lycos Inc. was formed with approximately US $2 million in venture capital funding from CMGI. Bob Davis became the CEO and first employee of the new company in 1995. After unsuccessfully attempting to turn the business into a software company selling an enterprise version of the search software, Davis concentrated on building the company into an advertising-supported web portal. Lycos enjoyed several years of growth during the 1990s and became the most visited online destination in the world in 1999, with a global presence in more than 40 countries.
Lycos was sold to Terra Networks of Spain in May 2000 for $13 billion, forming a new company, Terra Lycos, and maintaining a position as one of the world's largest internet companies. Shortly after the merger, Davis left the company to become a venture capitalist with Highland Capital Partners in Boston. In October 2004, Lycos was sold to Daum Communications, the second largest Internet portal in Korea, once again becoming Lycos Inc.
On August 16, 2010, Ybrant Digital announced the signing of a stock purchase agreement to acquire Lycos Inc. from Daum Communications of Korea for $36 million.
In 1996, the company completed the fastest IPO from inception to offering in NASDAQ history. In 1997, it became one of the first profitable internet businesses in the world. In 1998, Lycos paid $58 million for Tripod in an attempt to "break into the portal market." Over the course of the next few years, Lycos acquired nearly two dozen internet brands including Gamesville, WhoWhere, Wired Digital (eventually sold to Wired), Quote.com, Angelfire, Matchmaker.com and Raging Bull.
Lycos Europe was a joint venture between Lycos and the Bertelsmann transnational media corporation, but it has always been a distinct corporate entity. Although Lycos Europe remains the largest of Lycos's overseas ventures, several other companies also entered into joint venture agreements including Lycos Canada, Lycos Korea and Lycos Asia.
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