…but this time the buzzwords are ‘social’ and ‘media’. In scenes reminiscent of oooh… 1997 investors and high profile folk all over the place are launching new sites and investing in old ones. The latest? One-to-watch (literally) — video search engine Blinkx.
The Independent reports today that shares in Blinkx surged 40 per cent after the company’s market debut as investors clamoured to invest in the world’s largest internet video search provider.
Blinkx has been spun out of Autonomy, the contextual internet search specialist that has retained a 10 per cent stake in the business. While Autonomy has often struggled to explain the significance and potential of its complex technology to befuddled investors, it appears that the rapid success of internet video companies such as YouTube has underlined the growth prospects of Blinkx.
In scenes reminiscent of the dotcom boom that characterised the markets in the early part of this decade, Blinkx shares surged 40 per cent to 63p on the first day of trading on the AIM market. The initial listing price of 45p a share was already at the top end of the pricing range and the IPO was strongly oversubscribed. Blinkx ended the day with a market capitalisation of £175m.
Blinkx offers more than 13 million hours of indexed video content, making it the largest video search engine in the world. Mr Chandratillake said the company’s technology provides “the critical link” between the consumer and the fragmented online content industry. It processed 1.1 million searches last month alone.
The company has raised £25m that will be used predominantly to bulk up its sales and development staff. Mr Chandratillake said the company was looking to launch a broadband-based television service. He added that the company was also looking to develop an advertising platform.
It remains to be seen if any of these platforms will really make money. How oddly familiar …