Urchin was founded by Scott Crosby and Paul Muret in 1996 as a web hosting company and slowly grew into one of the first web analytics tools of its kind. The speed and quality of its tools meant that it was becoming quite popular - it became the standard web analytics package offered by hosting companies, and in 2005 it caught the attention of Google, which acquired it.
Although the acquisition was seen as a great sign by Urchin users, Google launched Google Analytics six months later and transferred almost all of its focus there.
Urchin continued being supported, but improvements of its features came extremely slowly. The first new version (Urchin 6) was released three years after the acquisition – in 2008.
The launch of the paid version of Google Analytics in 2011 made Urchin even more obsolete, which led to the expected announcement by Google in 2012 that the development of Urchin would be discontinued.