After former electrical engineering professor Ken Bajaj sold his first business, I-Net, to Wang in 1996 for $167 million, he founded AppNet in 1997 to provide e-business solutions for clients wanting to bring their services online. A mere two years later, Advertising Age ranked AppNet the fourth-largest interactive media services agency in the country. The company went public in June 1999.
Creative business online
With proprietary services like its AdMaximize tool, which tracks Internet ad performance, and clients like American Express, Sony, and NEC, AppNet combines e-business services with creative online campaigns.
The boom in e-commerce led to a corresponding interest in AppNet services. The company's trendy speciality in e-business, including strategy consulting, marketing, web site design, and technology, led a CS First Boston analyst to proclaim in September 1999 that its stock was priced "way too cheap" - spurring keen interest in AppNet stock.
One of AppNet's largest coups was winning the Sprint long-distance interactive marketing account in October 1999 - an important win for the young company, which is still establishing itself as a recognizable brand. Since then, AppNet has acquired deals with such big-name companies as MCI, NASA, and BP Amoco. In the crowded world of Internet advertising, AppNet is fighting against advertising and marketing companies like Doubleclick and Agency.com, as well as giants like marchFIRST.
A growing company
Although revenue for 1999 rose significantly from $69.2 million to $112.3 million, the company still experienced a net loss of $76.6 million. However, as a result of this growth, the company ranked No. 86 on the list of the top 100 companies in the Washington area for 1999, as well as one of the 50 largest pure play Internet companies, according to Internet World. Also indicative of AppNet's growth is the increase in its workforce; its number of employees from the beginning of 1999 to mid-2000 tripled from 350 to 1,050. It seems that AppNet's strategy of focusing on serving large firms is proving successful.
The awards are in
AppNet has been amply rewarded over the past year for its initiative. At the 1999 WebAwards, eight out of AppNet's 10 web sites won awards for individual and team achievement in the creation and maintence of corporate Web sites. Perhaps more impressively, AppNet came away with 17 International Web Page Awards at the largest international web site design festival of its kind. These awards included two "Best of Catergory" awards, five "Creative Excellence" awards, and 10 "Certificates of Creative Achievement," an impressive showing by any measure.
AppNet and Commerce One
It seems that everyone is taking notice of the Internet solutions company these days. By Fall 2000, Commerce One, a leader in e-commerce, should have completed negotiations to acquire AppNet in a stock deal that was worth roughly $1.4 billion. It will combine the forces of the companies to 44 offices in 18 countries, with more than 2,300 employees. Current money-losing Commerce One hopes the acquisition will help the company turn a profit, as well as fill in its shortage of trained technology staff. AppNet will also enhance Commerce One's service offerings with its strategic consulting expertise, interactive marketing services, Web design, and e-business implementation expertise. Together, the companies will provide comprehensive solutions to the marketplace. AppNet CEO Bajaj is expected to run the services operations for the two companies.
AppNet posts information about its departments on its web site, but does not publicize job openings online. Candidates can fill out an online inquiry form that is essentially a "blind" resume and cover letter; it asks prospective employees to describe their ideal role at AppNet and to cut and paste a resume in ASCII format. Information about positions can be found at www.appnet.com/careers.
Strategy Consulting;Interactive Marketing;e-Business Application Development;e-Business Integration;e-Business Outsourcing
New Logic; NetGateway; US Web
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