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Hyderabad’s Ybrant Digital Acquires the Once-Great Lycos

Aug. 17 – Hyderabad-based marketing company Ybrant Digital acquired the once-popular search engine and web portal Lycos from South Korea’s Daum Communications for US$36 million yesterday.

“Our goal is to combine the benefits of Ybrant’s global network with what Lycos has to offer in creating a compelling global destination for our advertising clients worldwide,” said Suresh Reddy, Ybrant’s chairman and CEO.

Founded in 1999, Ybrant Digital buys internet traffic on web sites and sells it to advertisers. The acquisition will allow the Indian company to offer Lycos’ online services, like its search engine, to a network of advertisers.

“The quality of content and tools offered by Lycos has always attracted the best of the consumers across the world,” Reddy said.

While Lycos still draws 60 million global visits per month, according to Daum Communications, the US$36 million price tag is a far cry from the nearly US$13 billion it commanded only 10 years ago when it was bought up by Terra Networks of Spain. Founded in 1994, the Lycos search engine was incredibly popular in the late 1990s and the web site became one of the most visited domains in the world in 1999 with a strong global presence. Around the time of its takeover by Terra Networks, though, Google was emerging as the favorite choice and Lycos has gone down ever since – being sold to Daum Communications in 2004 for US$95.4 million and now to Ybrant for a mere US$36 million.

Ybrant recorded US$70 million in revenue last fiscal year and its network serves prominent international brands like Dell, Intel, HP, Cisco, Sony, Nokia, Blackberry, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Toyota, and Porsche.

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