Apr. 6, 2000 LifeMinders.com Acquires WITI Corp.
BOULDER -- WITI Corp., a provider of wireless custom weather forecasts, has been acquired by LifeMinders.com for an undisclosed sum, it was announced today. The acquisition makes WITI's personalized forecasts available to LifeMinders' 12.5 million members and its business partners' customers. The weather forecasts will be part of a broad range of personalized wireless alerts and messages to be offered by LifeMinders following the acquisition.
WITI Corp. is a spinoff of the Boulder-based UCAR Foundation, the exclusive agent for technology commercialization for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a consortium of over 60 universities offering Ph.D.s in the atmospheric sciences.
"This agreement represents the perfect pairing of our personalized wireless weather alert and forecast delivery capabilities with the largest and fastest growing on-line deliverer of personalized messages and content," says Bruce Donaldson, CEO of WITI Corp. "Our shared goal is to provide the broadest array of accurate and timely information for delivery to wireless devices."
WITI Corp. worked closely for several years with scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to convert weather information produced by the National Weather Service into hourly forecasts targeted by zip code. NCAR researchers study all aspects of atmospheric and oceanic science, including weather, with an eye to improving predictions. The UCAR Foundation transfers NCAR know-how to the public through private sector enterprises such as WITI Corp. NCAR is managed by UCAR under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation.
"It's thrilling to watch NCAR research move from the lab out into the world where it can help millions of people in their daily lives," says UCAR president Richard Anthes. "WITI Corp. is a great success for UCAR's technology transfer efforts--our first 'home run'!"
"This acquisition gives us the platform to offer forecasts, warnings, and alerts immediately to our 12.5 million members as well as the customers of our business-to-business partners wherever and whenever they need it," says Stephen R. Chapin, Jr., CEO and president of LifeMinders.com. "After looking at a number of options for wireless delivery, we chose WITI because we have used their technology over the last few months in our daily product and found it to be the most scalable and robust." Donaldson and half the WITI staff will relocate to the LifeMinders headquarters in Herndon, Virginia. The rest will remain in Boulder to help with technical coordination.
About WITI Corp.
WITI Corp. offers personalized forecasts for more than 120,000 locations within the United States. The company led the way in wireless weather forecasts when it launched its Weather Window service in 1998. WITI Corp. expanded its offerings to include two new services: Alert2Go, wireless weather alerts and messaging used by leading radio stations, and NOWAlert, a similar service for television stations. Today radio and television stations offering WITI products serve more than five million households. By immediately serving WITI's broadcast clients, LifeMinders.com will be offering the newly acquired company its first opportunity for off-line cross promotion.
Large and fast-growing, LifeMinders.com (NASDAQ:LFMN) is a member- based e-marketer and provider of business-to-business outsourcing solutions. The company sends highly personalized e-mails each week to more than 12.5 million LifeMinders.com members. A free service, the company helps its members keep track of various areas of their lives, such as family, entertainment, home, automobiles, and personal finance. Its LifeMinders Today messages contain WITI's daily weather forecasts by zip code. LifeMinders.com, LifeMinders, and the LifeMinders.com logo are trademarks of LifeMinders.com, Inc. (http://www.lifeminders.com).
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The above story is based on materials provided by University Corporation For Atmospheric Research.
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