Lycos is alive, acquired for $36 million

One of the first major Web brands has been sold yet again--this time to an India-based digital marketing company.

Those of you who like getting nostalgic every now and then will be happy to hear that Lycos, one of the first major Web brands, has been acquired.

Daum Communications, a Korean-based search company, announced that it has sold off Lycos for $36 million to Ybrant Digital, an India-based digital marketing company. The Korea Times reported the sale early Monday.

Ybrant Digital's acquisition of Lycos included all of the company's many services, including site-builder tool Tripod, free Web host Angelfire, and people finder WhoWhere.

Lycos has a long and storied history. Founded in 1995, the site became one of the biggest names in the dot-com boom era of the late 1990s. Over time, however, its popularity declined as more Web visitors found alternatives to the venerable search service and Web portal. In May 2000, Lycos was acquired by Terra Networks for a whopping $12.5 billion. It was sold to Daum Communications in 2004 for just $95 million. Its most recent $36 million acquisition speaks to just how far Lycos has fallen over the years.

That said, Lycos is still chugging along on the far side of the Internet. According to the company's home page, the service averages 12 million to 15 million unique visitors in the U.S. each month. Its main market is overseas, where it attracts about 60 million unique users each month. That's not too shabby for a firm that few in the United States think about nowadays.

For old time's sake, I searched Lycos a few times to see how the engine fared. Overall, it wasn't bad. And its design is actually quite nice. That doesn't mean I'll be switching from Google to Lycos anytime soon, but it's nice to see one of the Web's pioneers still kicking.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.


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