Dec 9, 2008

Business - Indian duo to take on Google

LONDON: Two Indian engineers, who missed chances twice to buy Google nearly 10 years ago, have now raked in funds for their own site to rival the search engine giant.

The Indian duo have received funds worth 20 million dollars from media and entertainment conglomerate Time Warner for their search site -- Kosmix.

"Anand Rajarman and Venky Harinarayan, the Indian internet entrepreneurs, have received 20 million dollars of funding from Time Warner for their site," The Telegraph
reported Tuesday.

Way back in 1998, Google founder Sergey Brin offered fellow Stanford University PhD students Anand Rajarman and Venky Harinarayan the chance to buy the now search engine giant for about one billion dollars (675,000 pounds).

"They said no," the report published online said.

The very next year, the Indian pair with Amazon backing offered 300 million pound (about 443 million dollars). But Brin and Google co-founder Larry Page had refused to accept less than one billion dollar, the publication noted.

Now Kosmix has also got the backing of Motorola Chairman and Chief Executive Ed Zander and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

"Google works if you know exactly what you're looking... But if you have only got a vague idea, it can be quite hard to find the answer," Rajarman was quoted as saying.

"Kosmix allows you to browse a whole topic and suggests areas that it thinks you might be interested in," he added.

According to Rachel Lam, who is the Senior Vice President and Group Managing Director of Time Warner Investments, Kosmix's technology and its innovations around the traditional online publishing model could represent a paradigm shift "in how targeted content is delivered to consumers".

"Kosmix's management team is in the forefront of a new online business model...and importantly, one that should continue to generate strong revenue growth, even in today's
challenging economic environment," Rachel Lam was quoted as saying

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