Jobs at LookSmart | Ladders

Why work for us

LookSmart is an American, publicly traded, online advertising company founded in 1995. Based in San Francisco it is one of the five founding members of the IAB Click Measurement Panel. LookSmart was founded in Melbourne, Australia in late 1995, under the name Homebase, and was majority-owned by Readers Digest. After leadership and strategy changes at Readers Digest, the company was bought back [clarification needed] by its founders Evan Thornley and Tracy Ellery, along with Martin Hosking. Venture capital funding from Australian and US sources was obtained in 1997 and 1998, and the company relocated its headquarters to San Francisco. Looksmart signed a deal with Microsoft in 1998, to provide directory and listing services. This provided a significant revenue stream that ended when Microsoft failed to renew its contract. LookSmart went public in August 1999, as part of the widespread technology boom in Silicon Valley. Their stock debuted at US$12 per share, and reached a high in excess of US$70 in early 2000. During the dot-com bubble of 2000, LookSmart lost a significant number of customers, leading to reduced expenditures and lay off a large number of staff in early 2001. Founders Evan Thornley and Tracey Ellery began selling their stock after the IPO, but suspended their stock sale program in 2000 when the stock price went below the IPO price of US$12 and resumed in 2004. LookSmart acquired the volunteer-built directory Zeal in October 2000 but then closed it in 2006.


Market Cap: $1 million
Revenue: $5 million
Net Income: $-1.6 million
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