About Terra Networks
Terra was founded in 1999 by Juan Villalonga, Telefonica’s president between 1996 and 2000, and quickly turned into a major internet player through the aggressive acquisition of several local startups in Spain and the main Latin American markets: Olé (Spain), Zaz (Brazil), Infosel (Mexico), Gauchonet, Donde (Argentina) and Chevere (Venezuela).
Terra has also created several vertical portals, like Invertia, a successful finance portal, and Educaterra (e-learning). It also has had or has stakes in other internet ventures: Uno-e (online banking), Rumbo (travel, in partnership with Amadeus), Atrea (real estate, in partnership with Spanish bank BBVA), Azeler (car selling, also with BBVA), and Maptel (online maps).
In November 1999, still during the period known as the “Internet bubble”, Terra had a high-profile IPO both in the U.S. and Spain, and its shares skyrocketed from an initial price of 11.81 euros up to 157.65 euros in just 3 months. After that, the price fell sharply until it reached 2.75 euros in October 2004. This process sparked a lot of public controversy in Spain, where thousands of small investors acquired shares of Terra during the boom. Despite this problematic image, Terra managed to hold leading positions both as a web portal and as an ISP provider in several countries, and specially in Spain.
During 2003 and 2004 Terra expanded aggressively into the paid content business, mainly in Spain, Brazil, and Chile, launching ventures with Disney and Spanish football clubs Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. It also started several entertainment services, including an online multiplayer gaming platform (Terra Games) and a digital music service (Terra Música Premium) similar to Apple iTunes.