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Deal Radar 2008: Kosmix+Adify – Potential Google Challenger

Posted on Monday, Feb 11th 2008

Kosmix is a vertical portal startup. Founded in 2006 by Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan, founders of Junglee, this site aims at creating a ‘Home page for every topic’. Featured Kosmix sites are RightHealth, RightAutos and RightTrips focusing on health, autos and travel verticals. They have also been working on other verticals like politics, finance, video games, etc. with a view to eventually integrate all of them under one search box that would pick the right vertical for a page. [You can read my interview with Venky here.]

Kosmix’s technology is based on a highly sophisticated algorithm-based categorization engine. By generating every page algorithmically, Kosmix aims at creating rich and relevant home pages for any topic. This taxonomy-based search is dramatically different from Google’s keyword and page rank based approach.

Their series A funding was to the tune of $25.7 million from Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Cambrian ventures (a small fund that the founders ran), along with private investors including Jeff Bezos of who provided the seed funding of $700k and Bill Miller of Legg Mason Funds. In December 2007, DAG Ventures joined the previous investors to invest an additional $10 million.

Given its tough competition from search engines like MedStory and Healthline for Health or Kayak and TripAdvisor for travel, its key challenge would to be to differentiate itself to consumers via the user experience, and to advertisers via audience segmentation.

Their flagship site is one of the top 6 health sites as per Hitwise and has a Quantcast ranking of 181 with 6.9 million unique visitors per month in the US.

I like Kosmix and would like to see the company build itself, rather than sell out to any of the bigger guys in the short run.

The main source of revenue for the company so far is Google AdSense. The site has a very targeted and high value ad inventory, which in the future, they ought to build vertical ad networks around. In fact, a combination of Kosmix and Adify (Interview with CEO Russ Fradin here), coupled with a strong ad sales force looks to me like a potential Google challenger. They should consider this merger in 2008.

This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2008

. MyStrands is MyChoice
. Kayak Consolidates Travel
. Trulia Can Consolidate Real Estate
. Girls Like Stardoll
. LinkedIn Should Roll-Up Jobs
. Zillow
. TheFind
. Wize Ranks Products
. Retrevo
. Piczo Picture Perfect
. Xanga Losing Steam?
. hi5 Going Strong
. Bill Me Later - Blessed by Amazon
. Takkle Tackling Socially
. Amie Street and the Twenty First Century Renaissance
. eHarmony Replacing Yenta
. Zappos Wants to be Amazon When it Grows Up
. Figleaves and Specialty e-Tail
. Twitter Gaining Momentum
. Tagged In Exit Freeze Danger Zone?
. Digg - Packaging news
. Facebook Woes Coming?
. PlayFirst Plays Casual Games Well
. Kosmix+Adify - Potential Google Challenger
. Travel Ad Network Executing Flawlessly
. Trying to Tackle the Video Ad Problem
. Groople, Interesting Use of Context
. Lucidera
. InsideView's Clever Maneuvering
. Seeking Alpha
. Adify's Market Taking Time to Develop
. Glam Media's Fashion Forays
. Federated Media Needs to Focus
. GigaOM
. TechCrunch
. Yelp
. Slide
. Elance
. oDesk
. SKS Microfinance
. TutorVista
. Seventymm
. Cleartrip
. Yatra
. MakeMyTrip
. Intacct
. Genius
. Xactly
. Jigsaw
. Comcast Buys Plaxo
. Encover
. PayCycle
. Daptiv
. Inform
. PayScale
. Joost
. VideoEgg
. Mercado
. YuMe
. BitTorrent
. Geni
. Blurb
. Mimosa Systems
. Metaweb
. Brightcove
. Revver
. Cake Financial
. Mint
. Powerset
. UpTake
. PaidContent
. Mixpo
. Biz360
. Sabrix
. Coremetrics
. Revision3
. Appirio
. Metacafe
. Pandora
. Hulu
. Fabrik
. Flock
. Wetpaint
. ID Analytics
. Ning
. Telanetix
. Dimdim
. ON24
. Veodia
. Jive Software
. Realtime Worlds
. GirlSense
. LifeSize
. Grockit
. Playfish
. Nurien
. NTR Global
. AmberPoint
. Trion World Network
. PrimeSense
. Verticals onDemand
. Gaia Interactive
. PubMatic
. Mahalo
. Akoha
. Sportgenic
. Turbine
. ImageSpan
. Entrepreneur Journeys
. Aggregate Knowledge
. Fliqz
. Elastra
. Challenge Games
. PivotLink
. iForem
. Operational Memory LLC,Raleigh, North Calorina
. FeedRoom
. GameDuell
. Fotolia
. EchoSign
. Mevio
. Local Marketers
. Baynote
. BlogHer
. Passenger
. Mobixell
. Wigix
. ExpertCEO
. Zyrion
. Archer Technologies
. SunRun
. NewsGator
. PermissionTV
. Creative Water Solutions
. Carbonetworks
. WiZiQ
. Regent , Frederick,Marryland
. ClickCare
. Studywiz Spark
. Saki Seat
. ShiftWise
. Neulio
. Revolabs

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