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The classic LinkExchange logo, circa 1998.

LinkExchange was a popular internet advertising cooperative. Originally known as Internet Link Exchange, or ILE, LinkExchange was founded in 1996 by 23-year-old Harvard grads Tony Hsieh and Sanjay Madan. Ali Partovi later joined them as a third partner.

At its peak, the LinkExchange Banner Network reached over half of Internet enabled households every month, according to Media Metrix[1].

In June, 1998, LinkExchange acquired Submit It! Inc., makers of Submit It!, ClickTrade, and ListBot; and MerchantPlanet, an early shopping cart and credit card application.

In November, 1998, LinkExchange was acquired by Microsoft for US$265 million.

A typical LinkExchange in-house advertising banner, circa 1998.

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