Yahoo! Inc

Company: Yahoo! Inc.

Founders: Jerry Yang and David Filo

Industry: A global Internet services company and a public corporation that is based in the US, Yahoo! Inc. provides a gamut of services and products that include a search engine, Yahoo! Mail, posting, a Web portal, and news.


Yahoo! Inc. began in January 1994 as a website that acted as a repository for the company’s founders’ favorite links. The website was initially called as “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web.”

In April 1994, Yang and Filo changed the name to “Yahoo!” as they liked the word, which was defined by Jonathan Swift in his book Gulliver’s Travels as “rude, unsophisticated, uncouth.

When their website got one million hits by the end of the year, the huge potential of their site for making money dawned on the duo. The company was then incorporated on the first of March the following year. The duo’s investment fund was bolstered in April 5, 1995 when Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm, gave two rounds of venture capital.

Initially, there was no exclamation point in the company’s label but Yang and Filo added the punctuation mark in order to get a trademark as the term “Yahoo” had already been taken by EBSCO Industries for their barbeque sauce and knives products.

The company soon diversified into a web portal and on March 8, 1997, the company acquired Four11, an online communications company. The latter’s webmail service, Rocketmail, was utilized by the company and renamed as Yahoo Mail. Yang and Filo’s company also absorbed and renamed it as Yahoo Games. Yahoo Pager was launched on March 8, 1998. On January 28, 1999 Yahoo! acquired popular web hosting provider GeoCities. It also absorbed eGroups, which was renamed to Yahoo! Groups.

Today, Yahoo! is one of the most visited Internet sites, with a monthly traffic of more than 130 million unique visitors. As of October 2007, it was reported that the global network of Yahoo! Internet sites regularly gets 3.4 billion page views on a daily basis.


Interesting fact:

Back when they didn’t know their site’s potential, Electrical Engineering graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo were each working on their doctoral dissertations but ended up spending more and more time on their pet project than their individual research.

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