Excite@Home Corp. has teamed up with Dow Jones & Co.
Inc. to revamp its business-to-business Internet portal, Work.com.
According to the agreement, Excite@Home and Dow Jones will
each own 50 percent of the new company, which will provide certain news content from The
Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and Barron's Online to about 30 million
small and midsized businesses.
Excite@Home will provide its own content, as well as
opportunities for front-office and back-office applications, including Web-site hosting,
customer-relationship management, payroll and accounting services.
Excite@Home launched Work.com about six months ago, and it
will relaunch the new service in the summer. The companies also expect to spin off a
minority interest in the unit in an initial public offering before the end of the year.
Excite@Home president and CEO George Bell declined to
release specific deal terms or the number of page views the Work.com site currently
enjoys. He did say the combined company would generate $20 million to $25 million in
Bell added that the new company would seek additional
relationships, but he declined to speculate on with whom.
Although Bell would not give specific page-view figures for
the Work.com site, he said page views have tripled since it launched in September.
Bell also pointed to independent research predicting that
Web delivery of business information would be an $11 billion market worldwide by 2004.
"We think the opportunity here is certainly as large as Excite all over again,"
Bell said in a conference call with reporters.
Dow Jones will contribute content from its dowjones.com
Web site, which launched in June.
Dow Jones senior vice president of electronic publishing L.
Gordon Crovitz told reporters last week that dowjones.com "will be a
co-branded version of Work.com. Viewers can continue to go to dowjones.com and,
when the Work.com site is launched, they will be sent to that site. Over time, there will
be other links to other Dow Jones Web sites. Work.com is an excellent URL [uniform
resource locator] for a small-business site."
Bell said the addition of Dow Jones' content would
instantly boost the credibility of Work.com. He added that Work.com content could
eventually be moved over to the Excite@Home broadband service.
"Everywhere Excite goes, Work.com will go," he