Lycos, Inc., is a search engine and web portal established in 1994, spun out of Carnegie Mellon University. Lycos also encompasses a network of email, webhosting, social networking, and entertainment websites. Lycos is a university spin-off that began as a research project by Michael Loren Mauldin of Carnegie Mellon Universitys main Pittsburgh campus in 1994. Lycos Inc. was formed with approximately US $2 million ($3.2 million today) in venture capital funding from CMGI. Bob Davis became the CEO and first employee of the new company in 1995, and concentrated on building the company into an advertising-supported web portal. Lycos enjoyed several years of growth during the 1990s and became the most visited online destination in the world in 1999, with a global presence in more than 40 countries. In 1996, the company completed the fastest IPO from inception to offering in NASDAQ history. In 1997, it became one of the first profitable internet businesses in the world. In 1998, Lycos paid $58 million ($84.3 million today) for Tripod in an attempt to "break into the portal market." Over the course of the next few years, Lycos acquired nearly two dozen internet brands including Gamesville, WhoWhere, Wired Digital (eventually sold to Wired), Quote.com, Angelfire, Matchmaker.com and Raging Bull.