Feeds

Inktomi back to square one after Verity search sale

Plain old search engine provider

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Inktomi Corp is going back to being a plain old web search engine provider, following the sale of its enterprise search business to Verity Inc, announced yesterday,

writes Kevin Murphy

.

Coupled with the discontinuation of its caching business, announced this summer, Inktomi is pretty much down to the bare bones on which it was founded back in 1996, while Verity is picking up a way to expand and strengthen its leadership in enterprise search at a bargain basement price.

The purchase price of $25m looks paltry when it is considered that Verity is getting its hands on what remains of Ultraseek Corp, which Inktomi bought from Disney in June 2000 for $344.7m to first get into the enterprise search marketplace, and Quiver Inc, which Inktomi paid $12m for just four months ago.

The deal is a steal for Verity. The company gets its hands on not only what CEO Gary Sbona calls "stellar" technology for search, categorization and XML handling, but on an annual revenue stream of about $20m, Inktomi's 2,500 customers, and a route into the lower-end basic search market that has so far eluded it.

"We've given ourselves a really solid footing in the basic search space, where we've quite frankly struggled with our enterprise products," Sbona said in a conference call with analysts and investors yesterday. "Inktomi built a primarily department-level customer base that is highly complementary to our enterprise customer base."

Verity expects the deal to be accretive to earnings two quarters after the acquisition closes, expected in 30 to 60 days. Loss-making Inktomi said the divestiture will make it immediately cash flow positive and profitable before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

Inktomi's plan is to focus exclusively on web search, the market the company was founded to address, and intends to make some technology upgrade announcements shortly. In the year to September 30, the business brought in $47.1m, versus $51.2m in 2001. The biggest customer is Microsoft Corp, which uses the engine to power its MSN search site.

Verity's plan is to gradually integrate Inktomi's technology into its own K2 line of knowledge management products, with the first step being integration of Ultraseek results sets into its information retrieval software. The company will also attempt to migrate or up-sell Inktomi users to its high-end products.

Verity will offer jobs to about 40 Inktomi sales and development employees and has also agreed to take over "basic customer support obligations" from Inktomi.

© ComputerWire

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.