Founder of MP3.com starts business-info wiki

Michael Robertson is relying on the wisdom of crowds to supply information on IPOs, mergers, acquisitions, closings, bankruptcies, and investments.

Michael Robertson is behind the new site Dealipedia. Michael Robertson

Serial entrepreneur Michael Robertson has started a new business-information site called Dealipedia.

Robertson, founder of such companies as MP3.com and Linspire, is relying on the wisdom of crowds to supply information on IPOs, mergers, acquisitions, closings, bankruptcies, and investments. He said that Wikipedia has proven that allowing the masses to provide and edit information works.

Dealipedia is a "combination (of) news, reference and perhaps a bit of gossip for business deals," Robertson said in an e-mail to CNET News.com.

At Dealipedia.com, I clicked on the site's "Who Made the Money" section to see if Robertson's own name was included. Sure enough, it was. According to the site, Robertson pocketed $115 million when he sold MP3.com to Vivendi Universal for $372 million in May 2001.

Jason Calcanis made $11 million and Mark Cuban made $2 million (as of Tuesday afternoon) when Weblogs was sold to AOL. None of this is breaking news and the section is relatively bare of details. But Robertson is hoping the content will grow as greater numbers of business insiders contribute.

In one area, Robertson will also allow users to post info anonymously. He said this has supplied new details about Flickr, Delicious, and GrandCentral.

"After continually getting frustrated that I couldn't find historic data on business deals," Robertson said, "or easily keep track of new deals without reading a dozen different publications, I decided to remedy the problem."

The site is designed to appeal to investors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs, Robertson said. His intent is to offer a "nice snapshot" of a company's life cycle from the first round of investment all the way to an IPO.

 

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