Continuing its inorganic growth streak, Hyderabad-based digital marketing solutions firm Ybrant Digital is buying Lycos Inc, a US based subsidiary of Daum Communications of Korea, for $36 million in a stock deal.
According to Korea Time, it is essentially a distressed sellout with Daum selling a non-performing asset in its portfolio. Daum and its founder Lee Jae-woong reportedly acquired the troubled Lycos for $95 million in 2004 from Terra Networks of Spain to leverage the large online advertising market and the increasing broadband population in North America.
The acquisition did not prove to be as fruitful for Daum as Lycos, the then Internet powerhouse, saw its reach plummet to a search engine that draws 16 million visitors on a monthly average, according to Daum, according to a report. Its offering under the Lycos network includes search engines like Lycos.com and HotBot and community sites like Tripod, Angelfire and Gamesville.
It now remains to be seen how Ybrant employs the Lycos network to its advantage. This is essentially a forward integration with Ybrant being a marketing and advertising entity buying a publisher. The marketing and advertising solutions company has slow and steadily been strengthening its network by way of inorganic expansion. It acquired Max Interactive, Australian Ad Network to get access to the APAC region, bought over Argentine based ad network Dream Ad to gain access to Latin America by including four countries – Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Mexico to its global presence, and Oridian, Seenetix and AdDynamix – global ad networks.
Daum reorganized the business of Lycos in 2009 and turned it profitable. As a result of the sale of Lycos, Daum will be able to devote its energy and corporate resources to find new potential growth business and future-oriented pipeline such as mobile, LBS, SNS and Search. “As a result of the sale of Lycos, Daum will be able to devote its energy and corporate resources to core domestic businesses including search, mobile services and map.” said William Chao, CEO of Daum Communications Corp, said in a press statement.