Viant

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Viant Inc.
Industry internet consulting
Fate acquired / bankruptcy
Successors divine
Founded April 1996
Defunct September 2002
Headquarters San Francisco, CA
Key people Eric Greenberg, founder.

Viant Inc. was a San Francisco-based Internet consulting firm, founded in April 1996, that became one of the most successful web consulting firms during the early stages of the Internet era.

History[edit]

The company was founded by Eric Greenberg, Duc Haba, Dwayne Nesmith, and Robbie Vann-Adibé as Silicon Valley Internet Partners (SVIP).

It was one of the first consulting firms to attempt to integrate the disparate disciplines of strategy, 'creative' (design), and technology into a single value proposition and project approach. Such blended multi-disciplinary approaches have since become common.

With investment from Mohr Davidow Ventures, Trident Capital, and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, SVIP grew rapidly.

Robert Gett, from Cambridge Technology Partners, was recruited in mid-1996 in be the CEO. At this point, SVIP corporate functions moved to Boston, Massachusetts. Greenberg left the company in early 1997, and subsequently founded Scient.

SVIP changed its name to Viant in the spring of 1998 after a company-wide vote. Its San Francisco Bay Area offices relocated in 1998 to the South of Market area in San Francisco.

Viant grew its staff at 100% or greater in the following years, with offices "spawned" by sending multi-disciplinary teams from other offices into new geographies, including locations in New York City, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Houston, Atlanta, and Munich.

Some of its clients were Polo Ralph Lauren, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, Compaq and Radio Shack. It also pioneered web-based multimedia with the launch of sputnik7.com, which Viant planned on making the online equivalent of MTV.

The company went public in June 1999. By the end of that year Viant enjoyed a stock price of US$ 105 per share and a market capitalization of over $2 billion.

Vann-Adibé left the firm in early 2000.

Business impacted by Dot com bust[edit]

The Dot com bust hit the company hard, forcing layoffs in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Employees later nicknamed each round based on their dates and impact, calling the Dec 7th round (10% cut) the "Pearl Harbor" round, while the March 2001 and 2002 rounds (40% cuts) were referred to as "Hiroshima" and "Nagasaki".

The company was sold in September 2002 to Divine, a company founded by Andrew Filipowski.[1]

See also[edit]

Fast Five (consulting)

Incubation[edit]

As part of its activities, Viant worked with a variety of venture backed start-ups, incubating them by providing infrastructure, staffing to build the offering and other related services. Viant's activities in this area were quite successful with many of these companies surviving long after Viant.

References[edit]