Cash Register: 22-29 Feb 2000

Inflating the Bubble Economy

29 Feb 2000 Lycos comes to US market with free Net access


Refunds for SurfVeryLimited customers
What a difference a Dot makes
Martha Lane Fox hedges bets with Sale of The Century

HSBC is to spend $2 billion on a global Internet strategy in the next 12 months, according to reports today. It will not create a separate Internet bank, such as Egg from the Pru, but keep it within the HSBC brand.


Bertelsmann Online is set to IPO on Frankfurt's Neur Market later this year. The money will be used to fund its European expansion programme.


Oneview.net plc, the ISP serving SMEs, announced pre-tax losses of £1.48 million in its maiden interim results for the ten months ended 31 October 1999. Revenue was ahead of target at £336,000 and the outfit is looking to open offices in Scotland and Ireland.


10 Group Plc has acquired IS Opportunities, an IT sales recruitment magazine and its e-commerce business, isopps.com, for £250,000 -- £50,000 in cash and £200,000 in shares.


28 Feb 2000

So what is Spanish for Going, Going Gone? QXL.com is launching in Spain, its eighth language site, with

qxl.es

.


Celebrity Business Man Endorsement Watch

Simon Fuller, the former Spice Girls manager, has teamed up with Robert Dodds, described as the founder of music marketing specialist Music Innovations, to launch a "global Pop brand and Web site". The global Pop brand will provide pop fans with an "evolving range of exclusive content which they will be able to access both on and offline". It launches later this year. The whole thing looks engineered by Durlacher (again), which worked with Fuller and Dodds in "developing the business and (which) will continue to advise the Company using its extensive new media research resources". Durlacher owns 20 per cent of global Pop brand, after a company fund-raising of £6 million.


eXchange Holdings wants to be known as MoneyExtra.com
Freeserve joins National Lottery bid
Farmers online expose Reed Net House of Straw

Best wishes to

Netimperative

, an online startup publication funded by the ubiquitous Durlacher, among others. Just one week old, this daily service covers the Net/Media/Cash/VC nexus from a British perspective. It's free too. But when is it going to ditch the most ludicrous

legal disclaimer

we have yet come across?


Yet another online recruitment firm is wending its way to the stock market. This one, World Careers Network, has more modest ambitions than most: it intends to list on London's AIM market within a month, in a float that will raise £1.7 million in new money and value the business at £10 million. WCN is a very niche business operating in a niche market -- it designs and runs Web sites for big employers which target graduates in the so-called "Milk Round". According to the

Daily Express

, WCN's web sites had 400,000 "hits" (page impressions, surely?) in November and December. The company also made a small profit for the six months to January 31. It will spend its new money on expansion in the UK and Europe.


BT to offer free local calls 'within a year'

Sunday Express splash feels wrong, we reckon


25 Feb 2000 Net start ups to get developers' forum
Freeserve takes ten per cent of UK MP3.com wannabe
Sending out an SOS(.com)

Sir John Banham, the former DG of the CBI, called investors "lemmings" for jettisoning their traditional shares in favour of dotcom stocks, according to the

Evening Standard

.


United News & Media is to invest £370 million in its Internet businesses over the next two years, the company said today. Some £270 million will be invested in Europe and £100m will be invested in North American activities, principally CMP.net


AIM-listed, VoyagerIT.com plc, has acquired 147,253 ordinary shares in Shownet Plc for £210,572. Shownet is a shopping portal housing companies such as BT, Barclays Bank and WH Smith.


Tornado Group plc, which claims to be Europe's first Digital Service Provider, is to raise £15 million in a March flotation on AIM, just three months after the company was founded. The company is designing a system to collect, store and deliver digital entertainment products, as well as handle royalties and payments. The company is valued at £60 million.


24 Feb 2000 Viglen dips toe into net investments
Hong Kong ding dong over dotcom float
23 Feb 2000 Get off your horse and use the Net
22 Feb 2000

Freeserve is to invest around £1.5 million to maintain its percentage interest in the share capital of Streets Online -- the CD and DVD e-tailer. Nicholas Backhouse, CFO of Freeserve, will become a non-executive director of Streets Online.


Net banking is for Scandinavians in anoraks
Contenders pile into British online wars

So that's where Software Warehouse founder Steve Bennett got the name for

Jungle.com

. The

FT

(Feb 21, 2000) carries an interview with Indian software tycoon Gururaj Deshpande. Like Bennett, Deshpande is a serial entrepreneur. Only older and much, much richer. One success is Junglee.com, sold to Amazon.com for $187 million. Junglee, the

FT

informs us, in "colloquial Hindi means mad". Mad site bought by Amazon. Could there be a trend, here? ®

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