Bill Gross started Idealab in 1996 to create and operate pioneering technology companies. The structure of Idealab has allowed it to test many ideas at once and turn the best of them into companies, attracting the human and financial capital necessary to bring them to market.
Many of these companies were among the first to introduce new business ideas to the market. CitySearch, now a part of InterActive Corp., established the category of local online community directories. eToys demonstrated the tremendous potential for online consumer retail and became one of the most recognized brands during the early days of e-commerce. Overture Services, which began life as GoTo.com, was the first company to introduce the concept of paid search. Now part of Yahoo!, Overture’s business model is the underpinning of a multibillion-dollar online search market.
Idealab continues to explore a range of technology frontiers. New models for improving the search experience are at the core of several companies currently growing inside of Idealab. Moving beyond the Internet, it has spawned companies with breakthrough technologies in robotics (Evolution Robotics), three-dimensional printing (Desktop Factory) and renewable energy (Energy Innovations), among others. Idealab also continues to partner with leading venture capital firms and other strategic investors to provide the resources to maximize the potential of these companies.