Sabeer Bhatia mett Jack Smith at Apple
Both Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith were working for Apple computers where they were building the powerbook portable for Apple.
Sabeer Bhatia got interested in the internet
Sabeer got interested in the internet and his interest spiked when he knew that the people who founded Yahoo just got 1 million dollars of funding. He believed that starting an internet business i a very good idea.
Sabeer Bhatia created a tool to access a database from the web
Sabeer started playing around with code until he managed to create a way to allow databases to reside on the backend while being accessed from the web browser which acts as a front end. He believed that this invention can be the seed for a new business.
Both Sabber and jack
Started seeking funds. The two partners joined forces and started seeking funds for their new company Javasoft but they were turned down because they had no clear business plan.
The founders were unable to email each other because of a fireware
The founders, now working at a startup called Firepower systems, were unable to email each other because of the company’s firewall. They then realized that they could access their email if they made it available through the web and so Hotmail was born.
The founders got 300,000 of funding
The founders got 300,000 dollars of funding from a VC in exchange for 15% of the company. This round of funding valued the company at 2 million dollars. (See How Zappos Started?)
Hotmail was launched in 1996
Hotmail was launched in 1996 and the founders managed to attract 100,000 users in the first three month. The company was growing fast and thousands of new subscribers were joining everyday.
The users grew fast as a result of word of mouth and viral marketing
The team added a line in each email sent by a Hotmail user asking the receiver to sign up for free. The user base was growing fast because of worth of mouth and this viral technique.
Rocketmail started to compete with Hotmail
Rocketmail which partnered with Hotmail by letting them access their user directory realized that the web based email market was growing fast and so they decided to compete with Hotmail. This action ended the partnership between Rocketmail and Hotmail.
Hotmail reached 7 million users
Hotmail reached 7 million users and this attracted Microsoft who gave an offer to buy the company for 160 million dollars.
Hotmail was sold to Microsoft for 400 million
After a lot of negotiations the company was finally sold to Microsoft for 400 million dollars. (See How 9GAG started?)
How Hotmail started?
How Hotmail changed Microsoft (and email) forever? A Brief History Of Hotmail