Not content to run the second-largest community site on the Web, Lycos has signed an agreement to purchase WhoWhere? Inc. for $133m (£81m) in stock. The move makes Lycos the largest community site on the Web, just as GeoCities, which formerly held the title, is set to begin trading as a public company.
With the addition of WhoWhere?, Lycos said that it becomes the fourth most popular site on the Web, behind sites run by America Online, Yahoo! and Microsoft In a prepared statement, Lycos President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Davis said that, thanks to the acquisition, Lycos "has leapfrogged our competitors and set the standard for portals."
WhoWhere? offers a suite of free community-related products and services. It also builds corporate Web sites. The demographic information gleaned from the free consumer services helps feed marketing engines on the sites of WhoWhere?'s corporate clients.
WhoWhere? properties include Angelfire, a community site with 1.3 million members; MailCity, a free e-mail service with 9.3 million registered users; and WhoWhere?, the third largest online directory service. Lycos said Tripod and Angelfire are the two fastest-growing domains of the top 10 Web sites. Citing figures from RelevantKnowledge in the US, Lycos said that, in 1998, Tripod grew 193 percent and Angelfire grew 189 percent.