What did Elon Musk’s first company Zip2 do?
Zip2 provided for the first time a company with a website to offer content such as newspapers, maps, and directories.
Zip2 removed the need to go to different websites for maps or classifieds among others, as all these were now available on one site. Zip2 made it easier for publishers to get their content in as well. And later on the year it was acquired by Compaq Computer Corporation who wanted it because of its potential synergies with Alta Vista’s web directory service which Compaq had just purchased from General Electric Company.
Zip2 was a company he co-founded that specialized in city guides and maps. It eventually merged with another rival AOL/Netscape product to form what is now known as the mapping service of AOL, MapQuest.
At its peak, it employed close to 60 people and had offices both in Silicon Valley (California) and New York City–and sold for $307 million when Compaq bought it in 1999.
The company’s software provides an innovative way for zip2 Web site users to determine their location on Earth with accuracy within 100 meters by triangulating their position through measures of reverse-time latitude, longitude, altitude data from a Global Positioning System satellite orbiting the earth).
Zip2 developed and maintained an online city guide for the newspaper publishing industry in the late 1990s.
Zip2 created and ran a website that distributed content to newspapers around the country, including such features as yellow pages listings, entertainment guides, weather forecasts, sports scores and stock quotes. Customers included Knight-Ridder Inc., Tribune Media Services Inc. (TMS) and Copley. The company generated revenue by selling advertisements on its site. In 1999 Compaq Computer Corp (CPQ)’s acquisition of Digital Research Laboratory led to the creation of a web portal called Homesite which became part of TMS’s operations in 2000.
Zip2 is a city guide that helps generate revenue for newspapers by directing clients to local businesses.
The remaining shareholding of Zip2 was bought out by AltaVista and renamed AltaVista Press. In 1999, AltaVista was acquired by Yahoo!. The result is that Musk got the majority of $34 million from the sale while he had an estimated equity stake in Zip2 of around 11%. So it would be correct to say that Elon Musk sold his first company, Zip2, for more than $10 million.
Zip2 was an Internet company that provided the underlying technology to build anything online in 1995.
Zip2 is a software company founded in 1997 by Elon Musk as one of four companies he started with his brother, Kimbal Musk. The company’s primary product was called Maps-By-Zip2 and it allowed users to make maps with details about neighborhoods, schools, language use, restaurants and other amenities by typing a city name into a web browser. It enabled media organizations like Reuters to create its own digital maps for reporting on global events such as wars or sporting events.
The entourage disbanded following the sale of MapQuest (the ultimate winner) which acquired Zip2 in 1999 for $307 million USD and then subsequently sold it two years later for $2.05 billion USD in the biggest merger in Silicon Valley history.
Zip2 was an online city guide that helped people navigate city streets.
Zip2 provided a Web-based solution for publishing and distributing maps and directions to the general public, initially for San Francisco, and then growing to cover 34 other cities across North America and Europe. At one point in time, Zip2 had over 125 employees. Along with MapQuest, Tele Atlas (the co-owner of which is TomTom), Alta Vista, Yahoo Maps, Microsoft MapPoint Mobile Navigator Lite among others have emerged as competitors to the Zip2 map service.
Zip2 designed the software that allowed people to buy things on the internet, in other words, they were an inter-network system.
It is not necessary for a buyer and seller to be at even remotely different sites. The buyer can input his order via a form into an electronic shopping cart, submit it electronically through phone lines using Fax technology, and pay by credit card instantly. The information is sent over commercial phone lines as bits of ones and zeros over digital modems without any human intervention beyond seller confirmation of an order. And this is where Musk’s company was so novel – he leased out pipelines of unused (or underused) modems from telcos like AT&T during off-peak hours to give them extra revenue, and is said to have made $30 million in the process.
Zip2 was a company that merged with to become PayPal in 2000.
ZIP–an acronym for “ZIP technology”—was launched in 1995 as part of a university project Musk and his brother Erik completed while enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania . The idea behind ZIP was to provide city guides for the internet, featuring maps, reviews, photos and sometimes even online reservations. It initially had its most success in North America’s large metropolitan areas, including New York City. It later expanded into Brazil (English language) and Germany (German language) but failed due to a rushed soft launch. Musk continues to serve on Zip2’s board as well as being CEO of parent company
Zip2 was an Internet company at the forefront of publishing, hosting and selling city information online to new Internet users. Quite a few cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC as well as international ones such as Rio De Janeiro are examples of projects we worked on.
In 1999 it appeared investors were hungry for any companies that would grab market share from Microsoft or AOL, so we raised $100 million in funding. And in 2001 Compaq bought us for $307 million. That’s more favorable than getting zeroed out by Yahoo! + Broadcast even if you didn’t get stuck with AltaVista!