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Inktomi Corporation was a California-based company that provided software for Internet service providers. Inktomi's software was incorporated into the widely-used HotBot search engine, which displaced AltaVista as the leading web-crawler-based search engine, itself to be displaced later by Google.

Fate Acquired by Yahoo!
Founded February 13, 1996; 22 years ago (1996-02-13)[1]
Founder Eric Brewer
Paul Gauthier
Key people
David C. Peterschmidt (CEO)[2]
Keyur Patel (Senior vice president, strategy, marketing and technology)[3]

The company developed Traffic Server, a proxy server web cache for world wide web traffic and on-demand streaming media. Traffic Server was deployed by several large service providers including AOL. It transcoded images down to a smaller size for users of AOL dial-up Internet access, leading many websites to provide special non-cacheable pages with the phrase "AOL Users Click Here" to navigate to these pages.

After the bursting of the dot-com bubble, Inktomi was acquired by Yahoo! in early 2003 for $241 million.[4][5]

The company's name, pronounced 'INK-tuh-me', was derived from a legend of the Lakota people about a trickster spider character, Iktomi which was known for his ability to defeat larger adversaries through wit and cunning.[1] The tri-color nested cube logo was created by Tom Lamar in 1996.



Inktomi was founded in January 1996 by UC Berkeley professor Eric Brewer and graduate student Paul Gauthier.[1] The company was initially founded based the web search engine that Eric Brewer and Paul Gauthier developed at the university.[1]

In June 1998, the company raised $36 million in an initial public offering.[6]

In September 1998, Inktomi acquired C2B Technologies for $95 million in stock, adding a shopping engine technology to its portfolio.[7]

In November 1998, the company raised additional capital at a 688% premium to its IPO price 5 months earlier.[8]

In March 1999, Inktomi CEO David Peterschmidt said that Inktomi would become an "arms merchant" to a growing number of Content Delivery Network (CDN) service providers.[9] Merchants paid Inktomi a percentage of sales and/or a cost per click for traffic sent to their websites, a model that later became known as pay per click and was perfected by Google and Yahoo! Search Marketing.

In April 1999, Inktomi acquired Impulse Buy Network, adding 400 merchants to its shopping engine and performance based business shopping model; [10]

in November 1999, Inktomi acquired Webspective, which developed technology for synchronizing and managing content across a host of distributed servers to be used in clustered or distributed load-balancing, for $106 million in stock.[11]

in August 2000, Inktomi acquired Ultraseek Server from Disney's[12]

in September 2000, Inktomi acquired FastForward Networks, which developed software for the distribution of live streaming media over the Internet using "app-level" multicast technology, for $1.3 billion in stock.[13]

in December 2000, Inktomi acquired the Content Bridge Business Unit from Adero, a content delivery network, which had formed the Content Bridge Alliance with Inktomi, AOL other ISPs, hosting providers and IP transport providers in August 2000.[14][15]

in July 2001, Inktomi acquired eScene Networks, which developed software that provided an integrated workflow for the management and publishing of video content.[16]

In March 2000, Inktomi stock peaked at a price of $241 per share.[17]

In 2002, after the burst of the dot-com bubble, the company restructured and Keyur Patel joined Inktomi as senior vice president, strategy, marketing and technology.[3]

The restructuring led to the sale of the Ultraseek Server product (renamed Inktomi Enterprise Search) to Verity in late 2002 and the sale of the rest of the company to Yahoo! for $1.63 per share, or $241 million, completed on March 19, 2003.[4][5]

In 2006, the technology behind the Inktomi Proxy Server was acquired by Websense, which was modified and included in the Websense Security Gateway.

In 2009, Yahoo! donated the Traffic Server technology to the Apache Software Foundation.[18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Inktomi Corporation Formed by UC Berkeley Scientists to Bring Parallel Processing Power to Commercial Internet Applications". Tech Insider. May 20, 1996. 
  2. ^ "QuantumShift Names Inktomi CEO to Board" (Press release). PRNewswire. March 26, 2002. 
  3. ^ a b "Maxtor Names Keyur Patel as Executive Vice President, Business Development and Strategy" (Press release). PRNewswire. August 5, 2003. 
  4. ^ a b "Yahoo to buy search-software maker Inktomi". USA Today. December 23, 2002. 
  5. ^ a b "Yahoo! And Inktomi Announce Completion Of Acquisition" (PDF) (Press release). Yahoo!. March 19, 2003. 
  6. ^ Thurm, Scott (June 11, 1998). "Inktomi's Shares Double In a Sizzling Street Debut". Wall Street Journal. (subscription required)
  7. ^ "Inktomi to Buy C2B for E-Commerce Boost". Bloomberg News. Los Angeles Times. September 2, 1998. 
  8. ^ Prial, Dunstan (November 16, 1998). "Inktomi Returns to Market With a Follow-On Offering". Wall Street Journal. (subscription required)
  9. ^ Tessler, Joelle (March 8, 1999). "Inktomi CEO Looks to Sell 'Arms' To Range of ISPs and Portal Sites". Wall Street Journal. (subscription required)
  10. ^ Patsuris, Penelope (April 22, 1999). "Inktomi acquires Impulse! Buy Network". Forbes. 
  11. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; INKTOMI TO BUY WEBSPECTIVE SOFTWARE FOR $106 MILLION". Reuters. New York Times. September 17, 1999. 
  13. ^ "Inktomi buys FastForward". CNN. September 13, 2000. 
  15. ^ "Adero to private-label content services". International Data Group. January 15, 2001. 
  16. ^ Jacobs, April (July 19, 2001). "Inktomi acquires eScene Networks". Computerworld. 
  17. ^ PELTZ, JAMES; HILTZIK, MICHAEL (September 5, 2000). "Inktomi Investors Trapped by High Values; Fannie Mae for Near Term". Los Angeles Times. 
  18. ^ Krill, Paul (November 3, 2009). "Inktomi Investors Trapped by High Values; Fannie Mae for Near Term". International Data Group. 

External linksEdit