Business.com Could Fetch $300 to $400 Million

Posted on June 23, 2007

Business dot comThe Wall Street Journal reports that Jake Winebaum and Sky Dayton who bought business.com for $7.5 million in 1999 may be able to sell the website for $300 to $400 million. The attractive domain name now also contains a business search engine.
The company that grew out of business.com -- a search engine used by businesses to find products and services -- is now on the auction block, and could fetch anywhere between $300 million and $400 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

Closely held business.com is expected to attract a host of interest from the likes of media companies such as Dow Jones & Co. and New York Times Co., these people said. Requests for comment from Business.com and the New York Times were not returned yesterday evening. Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, declined to comment.

Business.com does the kind of things publishers are trying to do more of: Drive readers to spend money with merchants who will pay a bounty for the traffic.

Their interest shows how, well into the Internet age, media companies are still eager for properties that can deliver online revenue and growth. Business.com, Santa Monica, Calif., has 2007 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about $15 million, the people familiar with the matter said, with its online traffic growing by 50% in the first quarter of 2007, compared with the year earlier.
The valuation is a sign of just how lucrative high-trafficked websites and online media businesses have become. This is more about Business.com's traffic and b-to-b marketplace than it is about the business.com domain name.