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CMGI buys Activerse

The rapidly rising venture capital firm says it will buy closely held Activerse to expand its holdings to include open standard Internet messaging technologies.

CMGI, a rapidly rising venture capital firm focusing on the Internet, today announced it will buy closely held Activerse to expand its holdings to include open standard Internet messaging technologies.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

With this acquisition, CMGI hopes to expand its reach into the rapidly growing market for tools and technologies that allow live communication via the Internet. Activerse's products help Web communication by providing instant access to Internet-connected communities, workgroups, social groups, and individuals.

Activerse's competitors include services offered America Online and ICQ, but the company said that its Ding suite of products uses current and emerging open Internet standards, including Java and HTML, which allows independent Web sites and intranets to manage their own Ding communities.

"An estimated 20 million people are regularly using instant messaging today and these products are increasingly becoming a part of every Internet desktop," said CMGI chief executive David Wetherell. "Activerse's instant messaging solution is a powerful example of the type of 'viral' applications that drive consumer traffic and loyalty, translating into expanded content and commerce channels for online communities.

"Activerse also helps extend the synergy model so important to our family of companies and will have immediate applications throughout a number of content and community sites within the CMGI network," he added.

Austin, Texas-based Activerse will join CMGI as a wholly-owned subsidiary in the company's Internet Group.

The purchase of Activerse is the second CMGI acquisition announced this week. CMGI announced that it would acquire I/PRO, a provider of Web traffic verification, analysis, and research solutions.

The company's stock has almost single-mindedly climbed higher, hitting a 52-week high of 155.34. Shares of CMGI closed yesterday at 142.69, and were at a 52-week low of 12.5 about 52 weeks ago.

CMGI has been building an expanding base of Internet operating companies and through its @Ventures affiliate. Microsoft, Intel, and Sumitomo hold minority positions in CMGI. The company's @Ventures affiliates have ownership interests in Lycos, GeoCities, and, among several other stakes.