VCs reap benefits from Kelkoo sale

VC investors in online shopping service Kelkoo look set to benefit from the sale of the Internet group to Yahoo generating a reported return of five times their money. Yahoo! will acquire the Internet business for an aggregate cash purchase price of around €475m.

Since its creation in 1999, Kelkoo has been funded by investors such as Banexi Venture Partners, Sgam (Societe Generale) and Innovacom from France, Netjuice and BBVA from Spain and Kistefos of Norway. The business has been profitable since Q4 2002 and achieved rapid year-on-year growth from 2002 to 2003.

Kelkoo has operations in nine countries across Europe reaching almost 10% of all European Internet users. Following the acquisition Kelkoo will become a subsidiary of Yahoo! The group expects to continue to take advantage of the rapid growth potential of online shopping and lead generation in Europe by combining Kelkoo’s online shopping expertise and product search technology with Yahoo!’s network and its web search technology. Within Europe, researching products have become the second most popular activity on the Internet, only second to sending e-mail. And, according to Forrester Research, the European online retail market is expected to grow from €40bn in 2004 to €167bn in 2009