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WebSideStory, Inc., founded by Blaise Barrelet on September 10, 1996 as a website traffic analysis tool and links directory to market the web analytics product Hitbox and HBX. The company went public on September 28, 2004 (NASDAQ: WSSI). On May 9, 2007, the company rebranded itself as Visual Sciences, Inc. In October 2007 Visual Sciences, Inc. was acquired by Omniture (NASDAQ: OMTR) for $394 million.[1]

WebSideStory was headquartered in San Diego, California.

Business Model History

WebSideStory was hoping to sell the service for a small monthly amount of money but most web site owners refused to pay anything back then. WebSideStory decided then to offer a limited version for FREE in exchange for a small banner on each site they monitored traffic for. Surfers who clicked on the banner would be directed to a top list of web sites owned by WebSideStory. Unlike all other Internet startups from the late 90s, Websidestory never received traditional angel and VC investments but made real money and became instantly profitable by displaying banners on their top adult web site list. These sites were the only ones showing huge amount of traffic that could be converted into advertising revenue. As the rest of the web developed, they quickly started to advertise banners on their other site lists.

In the late 1999, large brick and mortar businesses decided to use WebSideStory's Hitbox on their growing Internet entities. This time, they offered to pay in exchange of more in depth statistics and refused to display the traditional Hitbox banner, this is the start of the HBX product line. Once WebSideStory was financially sound, it stopped providing its free version of the Hitbox and its associated advertising revenues. The company went public and eventually purchased Visual Sciences and took their name.


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