A quick history lesson on Google:
According to CelebsNetWorth, Google was founded by Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin and Lawrence Page back in 1996 as a Stanford research project. At that time, search engines determined page relevance based on the number of times the search term appeared on the site. Howeer, Brin and Page created Google’s search engine to rank pages based on links between other sites. Eventually, Brin and Page realized their research project could become a profitable internet business. Fast forward 18 years and they were right – Google is now worth more than $350 billion.
However back in its early start-up stages, Google was almost acquired for less than $1 million. During the 2010 TechCrunch Disrupt Conference, Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures revealed that Excite, a company he used to back, had come close to buying Google back in 1999. Excite was a popular company back in the 1990s known for their online services, such as an Internet Portal, search engine, instant messaging system, and web-based email. However, Excite CEO George Bell was not impressed by Google and rejected the $1 million offer. Khosla managed to talk Brin and Page into lowering their price tag to $750,000, but Bell was still unconvinced and the acquisition never happened. However, Vinod Khosla’s faith in Google did not seem to waver. His other venture capitalist firm, Kleiner Perkins, eventually backed Google with $25 million in equity funding.
So what happened to Excite? Excite was acquired by Ask Jeeves in 2004 and became neglected over the years. Google, on the other hand, is now #5 on Forbes World’s Most Valuable Brands list, has grown to become the most popular search engine, and has expanded into advertising services, GPS & mapping products, publishing tools, analytics, just to name a few. Google is even beginning to enter the consumer goods market with Google Glass and the smart contact lens project.
What do you think would have become of Google if Excite had pulled through with the acquisition? If you liked this article, you’ll be interested in reading about Google’s acquistion of Nest Labs. Also, be sure to check out Sprinklebit for more updates and investment tips.