Blucora Inc (BCOR) acquires HowStuffWorks from Discovery for $45 million

Posted Apr 21, 2014

Blucora Inc (NASDAQ:BCOR) has acquired HowStuffWorks from Discovery for $45 million as part of an all-cash deal. Discovery will see a huge loss on this deal because it bought HowStuffWorks for $250 million in 2007.

HowStuffWorks currently hits around 38 million unique visitors and 200 million pageviews per month. Discovery is going to partner with Blucora on native advertising efforts for HowStuffWorks and will have access to video content from the service. 

Blucora was founded in 1996 and runs the Infospace search engine. The company also offers tax preparation services through TaxAct, which the company acquired for $287 million in 2012. Blucora has runs an e-commerce service called Monoprice, which was acquired for $180 million last year. Blucora Inc (NASDAQ:BCOR) is going to roll HowStuffWorks into its InfoSpace division.

InfoSpace’s main metasearch website is called Dogpile and its other brands are WebCrawler and MetaCrawler. Blucora was founded by Naveen Jain under the name Infospace in 1996. Jain founded the company after leaving Microsoft and worked as CEO until 2000. The company started with 6 employees and built an online yellow pages service, which was funded through advertising.  InfoSpace went public in December 1998 and it raised $78 million in the offering. The company was acquired by Go2Net in July 2000.

After the merger with Go2Net, Russell Horowitz became the president of Infospace. In 2000, Infospace used a controversial accounting method for reporting $46 million in profits when it actually lost $282 million. Jain became CEO again in 2001, but was forced out in December 2002. In March 2000, Infospace’s stock was at $1,305 per share, but dropped to $2.67 by June 2002.

William Ruckelshaus became CEO and president in November 2010 after working as a board member since May 2007. The company rebranded from Infospace to Blucora in January 2012. Its NASDAQ ticker symbol changed to BCOR on June 7, 2012.