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June 17, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:52pm

CLARINET, TOO SMALL TO COMPETE, SELLS UP TO INDIVIDUAL

By CBR Staff Writer

Individual Inc has acquired Clarinet Communications Corp and its electronic newspaper ClariNews for approximately $7.7m in Individual stock. The acquisition can be seen as an object lesson in what it means to be successful in internet publishing. ClariNet has more subscribers than Individual – which relies more on advertising – it has been profitable for five years, during which time it has also doubled its revenues each year, but that it is not enough in the internet publishing world. ClariNet founder and publisher Brad Templeton said the company was just too small to go to the next stage, and having looked at a possible public offering or venture capital money, he decided to sell up to Individual instead for 1.5 million Individual shares. Individual hopes the addition of ClariNet will help it reach its goal of profitability by mid-1998. Clarinet had 1.5 million registered subscribers by early this year, having been founded back in 1989, when it claimed to be the first commercial news service in the internet. Individual gets more than 80% of its revenues from subscriptions and ClariNet more than 95%, which were $3.9m last year Individual plans to add advertising to ClariNet’s services. All 40 ClariNet staff will move over to Individual, and Templeton becomes one of the largest shareholders in Individual, with around 7% of the outstanding stock. The enlarged company is promising to continue with, and enhance the Clarinet publications. For instance, ClariNet’s breaking news alerts are being integrated immediately into Individual’s NewsPage service as of today. Earlier this month, Individual bought Delphi Internet Services CompanyLink research product. Individual says the enlarged company will have annualized revenues of around $35m.

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