Acquired by Microsoft on November 5, 1998
LinkExchange is an internet advertising company providing a banner exchange network.
Ali Partovi

Company Details


LinkExchange was the web's largest banner exchange network and expanded to become the web's first small-business portal before being acquired by Microsoft for US $265 million in 1998.

LinkExchange was founded in the spring of 1996 by 23-year-old Harvard grads Tony Hsieh and Sanjay Madan. 24-year-old Harvard grad Ali Partovi joined them a few months later as a third partner.

At its peak, the LinkExchange banner network reached over half of Internet-enabled households every month, according to Media Metrix. In June, 1998, LinkExchange acquired Submit It! Inc. (makers of Submit It!, ClickTrade, and ListBot), and MerchantPlanet (a turnkey e-commerce solution for merchants). In November, 1998, LinkExchange was acquired by Microsoft for US$265 million.

Other notable LinkExchange people included CFO Alfred Lin, and via acquisition of Submit-it, Scott Banister, and contractor Max Levchin.

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