In June of 1996, Mirabilis was created with 5 Israelis including Yossi Vardi, Arik Vardi, Amnon, Amir, Sefi Vigiser, and Yair Goldfinger. The group realized that several people were using the internet through non-Unix systems like Microsoft Windows and that all of these users did not know anything about technologies such as chat systems.
This group created ICQ to be downloaded without cost. The success of the program got AOL’s attention which acquired the business in 1998 with a price tag of $287 in the beginning and other payments of $120 million every year for the next three years. In 1998, this was the largest purchase of any Israeli company to date. Finally, AOL patented the technology in 2002
Once the program was purchased, Ariel Yarnisky and Avi Shecter managed the program. Management was changed in 2003 which was now under the control of Orey Gilliam the CEO in 2007 along with being responsible for all messaging systems. The ICQ program kept growing but it was not a real money maker but at the time was one of the companies most successful endeavor. In 2009, Eliay Moshe became the managing director replacing Gilliam.
Digital Sky Technologies purchased ICQ from AOL in April of 2010 for $187.5 million. Even though ICQ had some competition such as Google Talk and AOL messenger, it was still the most popular messaging program in Russia.
Digital Sky Technologies in September of 2000 change their name to Mail.Ru Group. After the change and the purchase of ICQ, the program changed from just being a desktop program to a complete mobile messenger system. In 2013, around one-half of those that used ICQ were due to the mobile app and in 2014, the number of users had finally grown for the first time after the purchase. The code of the program was released in march of 2016 due to the Apache license.