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Inktomi Corporation
FoundedJanuary 1996; 28 years ago (1996-01)[1]
FounderEric Brewer[1]
Paul Gauthier[1]
FateAcquired by Yahoo!
HeadquartersFoster City, California[1]
Key people
David C. Peterschmidt[2]
(Chairman & CEO)
RevenueDecrease $112 million (2002)
Decrease -$500 million (2002)
Total assetsDecrease $145 million (2002)
Total equityDecrease $46 million (2002)
Number of employees
200 (November 2002)
Footnotes / references

Inktomi Corporation was a company that provided software for Internet service providers (ISPs). It was incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Foster City, California, United States. Customers included Microsoft, HotBot,, eBay, and Walmart.[3]

The company developed Traffic Server, a proxy server web cache for World Wide Web traffic and on-demand streaming media which transcoded images down to a smaller size for users of dial-up Internet access. Traffic Server was deployed by several large ISPs including AOL.[4]

In 2003, after the bursting of the dot-com bubble, the company was acquired by Yahoo! for $241 million.

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


Inktomi was founded in January 1996 by University of California, Berkeley professor Eric Brewer and graduate student Paul Gauthier at the University of California, Berkeley. The company was initially founded based on the web search engine that was developed at the university.[1] HotBot was the first search engine that made use of Inktomi's search technology.[5]

1998 to 1999[edit]

In June 1998, the company raised $36 million in an initial public offering.[6] Its success in making HotBot the top rated search engine led to Microsoft, Yahoo! and Disney all partnering with Inktomi.[7]

In September 1998, the company acquired C2B Technologies for $95 million in stock, adding shopping engine technology to its portfolio.[8]

In November 1998, the company raised additional capital at a 688% premium to its IPO price five months earlier.[9]

In March 1999, CEO David Peterschmidt said that Inktomi would become an "arms merchant" to a growing number of content delivery network service providers.[10] Inktomi received revenue based on a percentage of sales and/or a pay per click model.

In April 1999, the company acquired Impulse Buy Network, adding 400 merchants to its shopping engine.[11]

In November 1999, the company acquired Webspective, which developed technology for content management across a host of distributed servers to be used in load balancing, for $106 million in stock.[12]

21st century[edit]

In March 2000, the company's stock peaked at a price of $241 per share.[13]

In August 2000, the company acquired Ultraseek Server from The Walt Disney Company's[14]

In September 2000, the company 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.[15]

In December 2000, the company acquired the Content Bridge Business Unit from Adero, a content delivery network, which had formed the Content Bridge Alliance with Inktomi and other ISPs, hosting providers and IP transport providers in August 2000.[16][17]

An article written by Danny Sullivan for Search Engine Watch on October 1, 2001, revealed that Inktomi accidentally allowed the public to access its database of spam websites, which contained over one million of such sites, through a search result on competing search engine AllTheWeb.[18][19][20] The database was found by Brett Tabke, who ran the Search Engine World website.[20]

In July 2001, the company acquired eScene Networks, which developed software that provided an integrated workflow for the management and publishing of video content.[21]

In 2002, after the burst of the dot-com bubble, the company was restructured by Keyur Patel who joined Inktomi as investor, and senior vice president, strategy, marketing and technology.[22]

His 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!'s Yahoo! Search for $1.63 per share, or $241 million, completed on March 19, 2003.[23][24]

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.[25]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Inktomi Corporation Formed by UC Berkeley Scientists to Bring Parallel Processing Power to Commercial Internet Applications". Business Insider. May 20, 1996.
  2. ^ Tessler, Joelle (March 8, 1999). "Inktomi CEO Looks to Sell 'Arms' To Range of ISPs and Portal Sites". The Wall Street Journal.
  3. ^ a b "Inktomi Corporation 2002 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  4. ^ FISHER, LAWRENCE M. (April 17, 2000). "2 Companies Take Separate Paths To Speed Delivery of Web Pages". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "New Search Tool Hits the Web". Associated Press.
  6. ^ Thurm, Scott (June 11, 1998). "Inktomi's Shares Double In a Sizzling Street Debut". The Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ "BBC News | the Company File | Inktomi searches for Net profits in Europe".
  8. ^ "Inktomi to Buy C2B for E-Commerce Boost". Los Angeles Times. Bloomberg News. September 2, 1998.
  9. ^ Prial, Dunstan (November 16, 1998). "Inktomi Returns to Market With a Follow-On Offering". The Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ Tessler, Joelle (March 8, 1999). "Inktomi CEO Looks to Sell 'Arms' To Range of ISPs and Portal Sites". The Wall Street Journal.
  11. ^ Patsuris, Penelope (April 22, 1999). "Inktomi acquires Impulse! Buy Network". Forbes.
  12. ^ "INKTOMI TO BUY WEBSPECTIVE SOFTWARE FOR $106 MILLION". The New York Times. Reuters. September 17, 1999.
  13. ^ PELTZ, JAMES; HILTZIK, MICHAEL (September 5, 2000). "Inktomi Investors Trapped by High Values; Fannie Mae for Near Term". Los Angeles Times.
  14. ^ "GO.COM IS SELLING ULTRASEEK TO INKTOMI FOR $344 MILLION". The New York Times. June 9, 2000.
  15. ^ "Inktomi buys FastForward". CNN. September 13, 2000.
  16. ^ "INKTOMI, AOL AND ADERO FORM ALLIANCE". The New York Times. August 24, 2000.
  17. ^ "Adero to private-label content services". International Data Group. January 15, 2001.
  18. ^ "History of Search Engines - Chronological List of Internet Search Engines". Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  19. ^ "Search Engine". Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  20. ^ a b Sullivan, Danny (October 1, 2001). "Inktomi Spam Database Left Open To Public". Search Engine Watch. Archived from the original on April 10, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  21. ^ Jacobs, April (July 19, 2001). "Inktomi acquires eScene Networks". Computerworld.
  22. ^ "inktomi FORM 10-K/A For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2002". August 5, 2003.
  23. ^ "Yahoo to buy search-software maker Inktomi". USA Today. December 23, 2002.
  24. ^ "Yahoo and Inktomi Announce Completion of Acquisition". Business Wire. 4 May 2020.
  25. ^ Krill, Paul (November 3, 2009). "Inktomi Investors Trapped by High Values; Fannie Mae for Near Term". International Data Group.

External links[edit]