Look who's Smart now!

Look who's Smart now!

There is something in the name of the top Australian privately owned Internet directory - LookSmart.

Named ahead of AltaVista and Yahoo! as the number-one Web directory in the country by Web traffic tracker Top 100 Australia, LookSmart's growth and market recognition has been reinforced through the completion of the multimillion-dollar funding round earlier this month. Believed to be larger than Ozemail's funding prior to its listing, LookSmart has attracted $95 million in private equity placement, bringing its total capital raised to $125.9 million.

Evan Thornley, co-founder and CEO of LookSmart, believes his company's strong performance should serve as an indication to developers and consumers that the economics of the Internet business model are going to play a large role in Australia's future.

"The continued and growing support of media companies and Internet-savvy financial investors is a vote of confidence for our adherence to the fundamentals of quality content, quality audience, sustainable distribution and multiple revenue stream," Thornley said, adding that "the race for consumer loyalty and a sustainable economic model on the Internet is far from over".

With local investors including Kerry Packer's private holding company Consolidated Press Holdings and Citicorp Equity Capital Limited, the equity will be used to forge strategic partnerships and finance Looksmart's further Internet growth.

Or as Thornley sees it: "The financing gives LookSmart the freedom to aggressively pursue our growth plans through the year 2000 and beyond."

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