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Infobank seeks £9 million to develop e-commerce apps

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Infobank International has launched an £8.9 million fundraising bid to help develop the company's range of e-commerce software. If unsuccessful, then the options for the Berkshire-based software company will be "significantly restricted", it admitted yesterday. Last month, Infobank finally launched its InTrade e-commerce solution after extended product development led to its delay. InTrade is a Net-based procurement system which automates the entire process from the desktop. Replacing traditional paper-based processes, it is an e-commerce tool the company claims could cut costs by half within a year. The launch of InTrade and Infobank's quest for further funding follows a difficult period for the company. In September, David Fraser stepped down as executive chairman, although he stayed on as a non-executive director. At the same time, managing Director Joe Pillai left the board and Graham Sadd, co-founder and executive director, was appointed interim chief executive. The company also decided to channel sales of InTrade through partnerships with groups that use the product after its software reselling arm, Software Corporation, failed to obtain sufficient access to customers. Despite the company's continuing failure to meet its financial targets, Graham Kemp, analyst with Collins Stewart, Infobank's broker, said the product showed great potential. Speaking in the Financial Times, Kemp said he is forecasting a pre-tax loss of £7.4 million in the year to 30 December, after exceptional reorganisational costs of £700,000. ®

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