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Totalise tantalises with share give-away offer

Users get stake in free ISP company

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A copycat ISP launched on Ofex yesterday wants to lure new users to its subscription-free Net service with the promise of a (carpet) bagful of shares in return. Totalise said it will initially offer up to 250 free shares to users who sign up for the service although it anticipates that users could end up with an average of 3500 shares each if they play their cards right. The plan is to give Net users a 67 per cent stake in the company. The company has already raised £840,000 to help it fund the new service. Users must agree to their details being made available to other companies otherwise no shares will be forthcoming. Fifty shares are handed over on registration with another 200 up for grabs if you clock up an average of 100 minutes per month online with Totalise in your first three months. "We will be the first independent ISP to give free tradable shares to its users," said Totalise chief executive Peter Gregory. "We have committed to a share structure which is totally clear and will shortly give users control of the company through their majority holding of the ordinary shares," he said. Totalise's model is similar to Themutual.net which announced last month it would hand out shares to users of its subscription-free service. The difference appears to be that shares in Totalise can be traded immediately, whereas stakeholders in Themutual.net would have to wait until the service is sold before they can redeem their investment. Cheshire-based ISP Telinco is to provide the technology infrastructure for Totalise. It also supports Themutual.net and CurrantBun.com, among others. ®

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