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Clickmango.com goes titsup.com

Another day, another dotcom flushes itself down the lavvy

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Clickmango.com, the British online health and beauty e-tailer fronted by Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley, has an incurable case of the dotcom jitters, the e-company confirmed today.

A statement issued this morning confirmed that the rigor mortis has already set in.

"Clickmango.com has confirmed this weekend that it is to wind up the business whilst it has sufficient funds to pay all of its creditors," the statement reads.

"The company is not trading insolvently and will honour all customer orders until the end of August."

In a prepared statement, Robert Norton, co-founder of Clickmango, said: "We have been in discussions with strategic investors over recent months.

"There is a lot of interest but unfortunately, it's difficult for many potential investors to move as quickly as we'd like.

"Rather than risk insolvency, we're closing the company down now while we have plenty of money left to meet all of our obligations and give our staff time to find new positions.

"Our staff have been told of the situation and we're really flattered at how supportive they've been. We feel really proud of what we and our team have achieved and we'll take this valuable experience with us to whatever we decide to do next."

So bang go the stock options for 20 employees. They should have little difficulty, at least, in taking their skills elsewhere.

Clickmango secured funding of £3 million, valuing the firm at £7 million from Atlas Venture and the Rothschild Family Trust in September last year. But they pulled the plug on further financing.

Not ripe enough

The site has been up and running for only three months. And the company says it spent only 10 per cent of its money on advertising and promotion. Despite boasting 750,000 page impressions a month and £100,000 in annualised sales (pisspoor, but growing 20 per cent a week and supposedly ahead of target) Clickmango.com failed to win further funding from investors.

With a cash burn of £100,000 per month and no new investors on board, the company has done the responsible thing by closing down before it has to close down.

Clickmango is ranked no.71 in the Sunday Times e-league of Europe's top 100 privately-held net businesses. Funding was helped, no doubt, by the presence of celebrity son Toby Rowland, progeny of deceased celebrity tycoon Tiny Rowland, on board as co-founder.

And failure to get more funding was fuelled, no doubt, by the presence of ThinkNatural.com in the UK online health products "space". Thinknatural (no.17 in the Sunday Times e-league) is backed crucially by Kingfisher, the giant British retail conglomerate, and the kind of strategic investor that Clickmango has tried, but failed, to find.

It is possible, of course, that all the press hooha will smoke out a trade sale before the cut-off point in September. ®

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