During this time, the business-to-business phase of the Internet craze was developing. The B2B businesses tended to have twice as many stupid competitors as the Internet retailers experienced. As such, we were one of the few top-tier Internet development houses that did not launch pre-IPO B2B plays.
- Pets.com was founded and developed at WebMagic’s Pasadena, California, headquarters. We conceived of the company and set up its web site, offices, staffing, and distribution. In early 1999, we made Pets.com a separate company, brought in venture capital funds from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Amazon.com.
- After kicking Pets.com out of our nest, we moved it to San Francisco where it became fully independent under the guidance of its management team and venture partners. Unfortunately, within 2 weeks of this announcement a dozen other copycat businesses were “launched” by other venture firms that “wanted a piece of the action.” Pets.com went public on February 11, 2000, and the rest is history. The success of Pets.com depended on reaching a certain size in which savings and the economies of scale from having a number of regional warehouses would be fully realized. The copycat businesses threw tons of resources (the top 3 imitators raised an average of nearly $100,000,000.00 each!) in trying to reach critical size before Pets.com did. All they did was make sure all the pet sites used up their resources before reaching critical mass.
- We are often asked if we would work with the same venture partners again–Yes, we would.
Internet’s largest toy store
- Once the Internet’s largest toy store, WebMagic’s Toys.com set the standard for online toy retailing, attracting customers from all corners of the globe. The business was acquired in 1998 by eToys.
- Spun off in 1998, WebMagic’s Cooking.com was envisioned as a comprehensive online portal for kitchen enthusiasts and culinary professionals.
- Following the success of Toys.com, WebMagic’s Sports.com was designed to be a sports fan’s paradise, with scores, news and more. It was acquired in 1998 by CBS SportsLine.
- Poised to capitalize on the exploding success of online auctions, WebMagic’s Auctions.com was envisioned as a sleek resource for buyers and sellers. It was acquired in 1998 by Auction Universe.
- WebMagic’s Collectibles.com was intended to be the leading Web site for high-quality items — everything from fine jewelry to rare coins. It was acquired in 1998 by Shop At Home.
- Acquired by Siebel Systems in 1998, WebMagic’s Sales.com was designed to be a comprehensive resource for sales professionals.
World Wide Web Organization
- Created in early 1994 by WebMagic in conjunction with Cisco Systems and ADC Kentrox, the World Wide Web Organization (Web.org) provided a rich guide to the Web and its resources, plus the monthly Webby awards to spotlight online innovation. Web.org was decommissioned in 1997.