Former push pioneer is snapped up by an electronic wallet developer. Pointcast, the pioneer of push technology, has finally been sold, but the paltry $7 million (£4m) price tag carries a salutary warning to Internet entrepreneurs.
Pointcast's buyer is US-based Launchpad Technologies, developer of the 'ewallet' consumer shopping utility and itself owned by Internet investment company Idealab. Pointcast's content delivery technology will be integrated with the ewallet ecommerce desktop tools.
Pointcast enjoyed brief success as the creator of push technology which delivered custom news content to desktops.
The software was so popular that it led organisations to complain of networks jammed by Pointcast-generated data traffic.
But push technology failed to fulfil its early promise, and Pointcast saw its fortunes decline.
The cash and stock deal is a pittance compared to the $400 million (£247m) offered by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation during Pointcast's heyday in 1997.
No financial details were released by the company or its buyer.
Melissa Bane, ecommerce analyst at Boston's Yankee Group, believes Internet companies must learn from Pointcast's tale.
'The lesson in the Pointcast story is: beware Internet greed. Turning down a $400 million offer from News Corporation is something Pointcast's founder Chris Hassett will have to live with for the rest of his life,' Bane said.
'Wall Street could be accused of the same. The fact is that in today's market, some business people are allowing greed to cloud their ability to identify solid business opportunities.'
The troubled company has been searching for a major investor since it scrapped plans for a public listing in July.
Last December, BT agreed to sponsor the UK version of the Pointcast service.
Less than six months later, the deal's future is in doubt.
BT was unable to comment on the acquisition.
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