Bits & Bytes for June 7, 2004

Brightmail, IronPort Target ISPs, SMBs

Anti-spam software company Brightmail and email infrastructure company IronPort Systems are now marketing their combined offering to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and ISPs, expanding beyond their established enterprise customer base.

The firms, partners since July 2003, hope to lure SMBs and ISPs with a modular, less expensive version of their enterprise offering. This integrated offering is IronPort’s email security appliance, which includes Brightmail’s anti-spam software and IronPort’s mail gateway software. Up until now, the solution has been marketed to large companies such as client Dell.

The new package starts at $25,000, and could go up to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the size of the organization, according to Tom Gillis, SVP of marketing for IronPort. The companies will jointly license the software to run in the ISP and SMB market, Gillis said.

“The demand last year was mostly at the high end of the enterprise market,” Gillis said. “Now we are making our offering available to ISPs and SMBs because they have been asking for it.”

The companies spent a lot of time making the system modular so the advanced features could be turned on or off, according to Francois Lavaste, VP of marketing for Brightmail. “Things a Fortune 500 customer needs do not necessarily apply to a small, 500-person enterprise,” Lavaste said.

This has been an eventful year for both Brightmail and IronPort. Information security giant Symantec in May announced its intention to acquire Brightmail. The news came less than two months after Brightmail’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation for an initial public offering of stock.

IronPort won a major victory for its whitelist service with a May announcement that Microsoft was joining its ranks.


WebSourced Acquires Engine Studio

Search engine optimization firm WebSourced has acquired the assets of Engine Studio, WebSourced parent CGI Holding Corp. said Monday.

Merritt Island, Fla.-based Engine Studio’s two brands, GlobalPromoter.com and TurboPromoter.com, offer search engine marketing, Web design and Web application development. The acquisition adds TurboPromoter’s search engine knowledge base and proprietary tools to WebSourced’s keyword ranking services. TurboPromoter has more than 10,000 active users, the company said.

In the acquisition, Engine Studio stockholders received an aggregate of 40,000 shares of the company’s common stock and may earn up to 60,000 more if certain revenue milestones are reached.

CGI Holding Corp.’s president and CEO noted that Google’s impending IPO has generated tremendous interest in the search engine marketing industry. “Potential clients of WebSourced are increasingly showing an awareness of and appreciation for sophisticated search engine marketing expertise,” said Gerard Jacobs, CGI’s president and CEO.

In May, CGI Holding reported its revenues had jumped 42 percent from the previous quarter. The company reported $3.8 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2004. Earnings were $959,000, or 3 cents a share.


Shareholders Approve FindWhat.com, Espotting Merger

FindWhat.com and Espotting Media shareholders have formally approved the companies’ once-endangered merger. Investors in both companies gave their go-ahead for the proposed merger, scheduled for July, in separate meetings last week.

The $170 million merger, first announced in June 2003, was on the rocks last fall after FindWhat uncovered financial information on Espotting’s books suggesting the company was not actually profitable. By February 2004, however, FindWhat said its concerns were resolved and the merger would go ahead as planned.

“The approval of the merger between FindWhat.com and Espotting is a milestone event for our companies,” said FindWhat.com Chairman and CEO Craig Pisaris-Henderson.

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