Northern Light Goes From Free To Fee; Acquired By Divine, Inc

As of January 18, Northern Light has been acquired by divine, inc., a premier integrated solution provider ( (The changeover actually occurred January 16, 2002.)

Northern Light’s free search engine ( will no longer be free, and will be available on a subscription basis only. However, free access to Northern Light’s “Special Collection” of journal and newspaper articles will remain free of charge except for fees charged for article document delivery.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Northern Light Technology is a leading provider of premium content, content integration and search solutions for enterprises. Its products include the “Special Collection ™”, an online business research library of over 70 million pages of full text documents; SinglePoint ™ Custom Content integration service; RivalEye, a customized competitive intelligence solution; and Northern Light Enterprise Search Engine ™, which features the company’s patented classification technology and customizable 17,000-term taxonomy. In addition, Northern Light provides a fast and flexible e-commerce transaction engine that allows micro-payments, subscriptions, coupons, and aggregation for monthly billing.

The acquisition enhances divine’s ability to offer premium content through Northern Light’s “Special Collection”, the largest online desktop business research library with more than 7,100 electronically procured and presented documented sources.

Last year divine acquired RoweCom as well as other related companies.

Northern Light’s CEO David Seuss, Chief Technology Officer Marc Krellenstein, and Senior Vice President of Content Development Robert Nelson all join divine in senior positions. – Dr. Gregory Whitten, who served as Chief Software Architect of computer languages and office applications during his 19-year career at Microsoft Corp. and is a primary investor in Northern Light, will serve as a technology advisor to divine.

Divine, Inc. is a conglomerate focused on extended enterprise solutions. Through professional services, software services, and managed services, divine extends business systems beyond the edge of the enterprise throughout the whole value chain, including suppliers, partners and customers, divine offers single-point accountability for end-to-end solutions that enhance profitability through increased revenue, productivity, and customer loyalty. Divine was founded in 1999, and focuses on Global 5000 and high-growth middle market firms, government agencies, and educational institutions and currently serves over 20,000 customers.

In a letter to Northern Light customers, CEO David Seuss said:

“Dear Customers and Friends of Northern Light.

Since August of 1997, I have had the personal privilege of hearing from many of you. You have told me in many different ways about how you benefit from our search and content services. So it is with gratitude and hope that I share with you the new direction that Northern Light is taking today.

While we have made an all-out effort at the advertising-supported Web search model, we find now that we need to refine our business to focus more exclusively on the needs of business researchers and enterprise customers. As of January 18, 2002, Northern Light will no longer be providing free Web search to the general public. Our Special Collection will continue to be available for free searching and pay-per-view access from Northern Light’s Web site. In addition, advanced search forms, real-time news, Search Alerts, and Special Editions will still be available at no cost to Northern visitors. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, our focus will be on providing the most authoritative information available for decision-makers.

Northern Light will continue to maintain and update its index of more than 350 million Web pages for searching by enterprise customers, an area of our business that is growing rapidly. None of the more than 100 custom Web-crawls running for Northern Light’s enterprise customers will be affected by the discontinuation of free public access to the Northern Light Web index.

I know that some of you will be disappointed by this decision, but I hope that many of you will see it as I do, a positive move toward the future of a valuable search and content integration service. Thank you for being with us through the years, and I hope you will continue with us for many more.


David Seuss”

In a press release, Seuss also said “Over the past year, Northern Light has seen booming demand for search, classification, taxonomy, and content solutions from our enterprise customers and marketing partners. Indeed, our sales bookings in the quarter ending December 2001 were double the previous quarter. Meanwhile our business model for free, advertising-supported public Web search has not been developing for us.”

Although Northern Light has been headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is not clear at this time whether it will be relocated physically and calls are currently being directed to divine, inc.

For further information contact: divine, inc., 1301 N. Elston Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622. Telephone: (877) 991-3846 [toll-free] or (773) 394-6600. Fax: (773) 394-6601. Email: URL:

COPYRIGHT 2002 Information Intelligence, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

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