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IN 1997 VENKAT RANGAN left the ivory tower for the rough-and-tumble world of business, and by 1999 he thought he was ready to create a brand with a high profile.
Yodlee, a content aggregation provider for financial services firms, certainly had an unusual enough name to stand out. "We were all excited about making Yodlee a destination site on the Web," explains Rangan, who is on temporary leave from a University of California at San Diego professorship.
Yodlee, in Redwood City, Calif., already had something in common with what is possibly the most universally recognized Web site on the planet. Its name comes from a hit song in a popular 1961 Indian movie …