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3i has brokered a funding deal for the NetStore Group in which it, NatWest and Barclays Ventures will fund the services company to the tune of £3 million. This is the second round of funding for NetStore. In the first round, 3i financed the deal. Daniel Morgan, a senior consultant at 3I, said: "As an investor, you need to listen to people's ideas and then shape them." NetStore has a large deal with networking company Cisco. Whenever a Cisco employee logs on to the corporate network in Europe, an agent, which uses the TCP/IP protocol, takes stock of the software on employees' notebooks, backs up their files and performs asset checks. According to Sean O'Reilly, managing director of startup NetStore, he is already in discussion with a number of resellers about the project. A source at the company said Computacenter was interested in licensing it to its corporate clients. The additional £3 million investment means the two banks and 3i now own 26 per cent of the equity in the company. Its valuation is now £11 million and it is expected to either float on the stock exchange or be bought within the next six months. The Cisco representative would not say whether his company was interested in taking it over. ® NetStore

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