Where did Yahoo! start?

Internet giant Yahoo! began in 1994 as a personal project by David Filo and Jerry Yang, electrical engineering students at Stanford University. Initially a simple list of interesting websites, Yahoo.com began to file these Internet links in topical categories as the list grew. Thus, the basic concept of an editorially selected, tiered database of weblinks was introduced.

Interest in Filo and Yang's list grew rapidly among their classmates, and word spread outside the university. The website was called "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web," and it rapidly developed an international following. The site was later renamed Yahoo!, an acronym for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle," and in 1995 the organization attracted significant investment from the established US venture-capital firm, Sequoia Capital.

The company grew quickly, going public with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of shares in April of 1996. The initial share price was US$13, but as the boom in internet stocks took hold the price soared and reached a closing peak of US$475 per share in January 2000. A world-record share price was set later that year when a single share in Yahoo! Japan (a joint venture with a Japanese financial group) was worth over US$1.1 million!

By now the biggest name in the internet industry, Yahoo! was hit hard by the fall in technology stocks during 2001, and in September 2001 the shares had dropped to their lowest point - $8.02. The giant staggered but, unlike many other "boom" companies, did not go bust. The strength of the Yahoo! brand and the ability to generate revenue through avenues besides advertising meant that it remained in the search engine arena, continuing steadily to improve its results, profits and share price.

As of late 2004, Yahoo.com continues to build on its international base of search directories and portals, online advertising, e-commerce and media products, in some cases by acquiring other companies such as MusicMatch, a digital-music provider. Yahoo.com recently announced a record quarterly turnover of $906 million - the sixth consectutive record turnover - and Yahoo's share price has increased by over 50% thus far in 2004.