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Local Dot-Com Survivor Proves That The Internet Boom Was Not All Bust

Not all dot-coms were created equal.

While many Internet startups launched in the late 1990s never got off the ground, a few withstood the downturn earlier this decade.

The Active Network, a San Diego-based provider of technology services mainly to sports and community recreational organizations, is a good example.

Last week, the firm, which operates online portal active.com, announced the purchase of another smaller business based in the Seattle suburb of Bothell, Wash. Thriva LLC has 65 employees and more than 1,000 customers.

“We’re going to maintain that office and retain all its employees, and we intend to grow that number,” said Tina Wilmott, Active’s spokeswoman.

Adding Thriva workers to Active Network’s existing payroll increased employment to 730, including 265 at its Sorrento Mesa headquarters.

While privately held Active Network didn’t disclose terms of the purchase, it revealed its revenues in recent years as it acquires smaller companies and grows revenues.

Last year, it generated $64 million in revenue, up 45 percent from 2005, when it had $44.2 million in sales.

The Active Network began in 1998 as an online registration site for runners and participants of adult education classes offered by recreation departments of cities and counties.

Today, it offers a broader range of services involving technology or back-office solutions to community service and participatory sports organizations.

Thriva provides management and registration software for camps and event organizations. In addition to online registration, the firm helps event organizers manage conferences, business events and corporate meetings.

Among its clients are Stanford University, UCLA and JP Morgan Chase, said The Active Network.

Matt Landa, Active Network’s chief executive officer, said the acquisition of Thriva will allow the company to “extend our leadership position in an industry where we see significant opportunities for financial and technological growth.”

Since its launch, The Active Network has attracted $110.3 million in venture capital, including a $35 million round in late 2006. The company’s largest investor is Menlo Park-based Canaan Partners, which owns 10 percent.

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