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  • The Boston Globe OnlineBoston.com Boston Globe Online / Business / Globe 100
    1. CMGI Inc.

    By Ross Kerber, Globe Staff, 05/18/99

    his isn't the first time Andover-based CMGI has ranked high in the list of Globe 100 bulls. But last year may have marked the first time investment pros began to believe in the potential of the Internet venture company.

    Because its investments are spread across dozens of smaller operations, many of them Internet-related, CMGI has become something of a bellwether for the boom in shares of companies related to the Internet. CMGI stock traded at 183 1/16 at the end of March - up from 141/2 a year earlier.

    The run-up relates to CMGI's two main lines of business - operating early-stage firms and functioning as an Internet venture fund through several of its units. Lately CMGI chief executive David Wetherell has been best known as the largest and most vocal shareholder in Lycos Inc., the Waltham Internet portal he helped create with a $2 million investment in 1995.

    Today Lycos has a market capitalization of about $4.3 billion, boosted by its broad reach and by investor enthusiasm for on-line stocks. Investors hope Wetherell and other CMGI venture-capital chiefs can continue their success picking other start-ups that blossom.

    Just since January, CMGI invested $1.1 million for minority stakes in Internet companies including the Raging Bull financial message-board service, the Asimba sports-oriented site, and Virtual Ink, which develops technologies for personal assistant devices.

    This story ran on page D18 of the Boston Globe on 05/18/99.
    © Copyright 1999 Globe Newspaper Company.

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