Australian news aggregator Plugger.com.au will re-brand as 'Wotnews.com.au' following a licensing and investment deal with high-profile Wotif.com founder and local multi-millionaire Graeme Wood.
The deal, announced last night, appears to have seen Wood purchase a 50 per cent stake in Plugger at an unannounced valuation. "Wood controls 50 per cent of Wotnews, which represents his first major internet play since stepping down as CEO of Wotif.com in 2007," Wotif.com said in a statement to the ASX.
At heart, Plugger, now Wotnews, is an aggregator that harvests news from over 3,500 publishers, including sources such as mainstream publishers like Fairfax and News Ltd, blogs, social networks, companies, governments and industry bodies. It also grabs headlines from ZDNet.com.au.
The site's aim is to combine the raw news data with a set of tools to deliver more meaningful information from the mass of content. It was founded last year by a small group of Australians The site's current general manager is Richard Slatter.
"An enterprise version of Wotnews will be available for larger, information-intensive organisations," said Wotif.com in the release.
The Wotif.com licensing arrangement will see Plugger able to use certain Wotif.com trademarks such as Wotnews.
In return, Wotif.com will take a licence fee on Plugger's revenues once they reach a certain level, advertising exposure on its site, a pre-emptive right to purchase the entire Plugger business, and an option to purchase 50 per cent of the business currently owned by Graeme Wood.