It was founded in March 1996 by 23-year-old Harvard graduates Tony Hsieh (who later went on to invest in and become the CEO of Zappos) and Sanjay Madan. Ali Partovi later joined them as a third partner in August 1996. Alfred Lin dropped out of his Stanford PhD program to joined as CFO. In November 1996, when the company consisted of about 10 people, it moved from Hsieh's and Madan's living room to an office in San Francisco. In May 1997, the company received US$3 million in funding from Sequoia Capital.
In June 1998, LinkExchange acquired MerchantPlanet, an early shopping cart and credit card application. That same month it also acquired Submit It! Inc., developers of Submit It!, ClickTrade, and ListBot.
LinkExchange stopped taking new applications on November 15th, 2006. On June 4th, 2007 it stopped serving banners.
- Ni, Perla (May 27, 1999). "The American Dream: Running Your Own Show" (PDF). AsianWeek.
- "Ali Partovi on LinkedIn". LinkedIn. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- "Alfred Lin Has The Midas Touch: The Man With $2 Billion In Acquisitions Under His Belt". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-10-15.
- "Company Info". LinkExchange.com. Archived from the original on January 28, 1998.
- LinkExchange: King of Niche and Reach. Net Results: Web Marketing That Works. Hayden Books. 1998. ISBN 1-56830-414-5. Archived from the original on 2008-07-25.[infringing link?]
- "LinkExchange buys e-commerce site". Advertising Age. June 22, 1998.
- "LinkExchange Acquires Submit It!". ClickZ. June 24, 1998.
- "Microsoft Buys LinkExchange For About $250 Million in Stock". Wall Street Journal. November 5, 1998.
- "Bios: Tony HsieL". Zappos.com.
- "Microsoft's bCentral LinkExchange Banner Network Shuts Down". Archived from the original on 2011-11-02.