Individual buys FreeLoader for $38 million

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Yet another Web content startup is making good in the Internet money frenzy. Individual Inc., Burlington, Mass., will acquire FreeLoader, a Washington company delivering offline Web content, for $38 million, including 1.8 million shares of Individual common stock for all the outstanding FreeLoader shares, and $2 million cash. FreeLoader will continue to operate as a unit of Individual; co-founders Mark Pincus and Sunil Paul retain their current titles of president-chief operating officer and chairman, respectively.

FreeLoader was formed last October to automatically go out on the Web, retrieve content and download it to users' hard drives. It released the first commercial version of its software last month after a three-month beta test.

Individual will use FreeLoader technology to deliver customized news and information offline. Individual culls news from more than 630 sources and delivers it via fax, e-mail, intranet or the Web.

Yahoo gets smart
Yahoo and Agents Inc. are linking to provide personalized content to Yahoo Web sites. Agents Inc. is a startup company that creates smart agent-driven sites. Yahoo will use Agents technology to create a personalized interface that users can use to hone their searches.

Agents operates Firefly, an experimental Web site that provides recommendations on movies, music and books. The company also is working with Rolling Stone to create that magazine's Web site.

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