The day's dotcom financial news – only one dead

Egg and Autonomy doing well

Online bank Egg is to build a third call centre in Derby, creating 1,500 new jobs in the Midlands. The centre is needed because of the large numbers of new customers, 600,000 a year the company claims.

The two existing centres employ 2,000 people and are based in Derby and Dudley (near Birmingham). The bank's half-year figures last month showed that losses had risen £10 million on the previous six months to £80.7 million.



Autonomy has unveiled new searching software that allows recorded speech to be searched using a written query. It is in talks with BSkyB about making the software a feature on Digital TV channels. The software will initially only be available in English.



The company timed the announcement to coincide with first half results showing a three fold rise in sales to $26 million, which moved the company into the black for the first time. Second quarter revenues were also up, rising to $14.6 million.

CEO Mike Lynch said that the company would happily move back into the red if the right investment opportunity came along. "I don't like companies that lose a lot of money unless there is a very good short term reason for it," he told The Times.

The company's shares closed down $4.50 at $43 a share. This slip was blamed on a general sell-off of technology shares.



Kent-based dotcom Independent Mortgage Brokers bit the dust yesterday. The company, founded in 1997, is the first British online mortgage company to fail. It had 25 staff and was valued at more than £14m. A spokesman told

The Guardian

the company had approached venture capitalists and investment houses, but the cash was not forthcoming.




Photo-Me's stocks plummeted to two thirds of their starting value yesterday after it emerged that its auditors refused to sign off its financial results.



This left the company valued at £407 million compared with £1.6 billion in January after it announced it had done a deal with BT to offer Internet access in its booths.

A profit of £10.4 million was recorded in connection with one transaction, but £5.9 million of that had not been accounted for. The news wiped £200 million off the value of the company.



Magic moments has launched a domain name registration service called 123-reg.co.uk. WebFusion, Magic Moments parent company, said it designed the service with non consumer user base in mind and was targeting users who had to register a large number of domain names as a part of their business.




Channel Health, a health and lifestyle TV channel and interactive Website, is planning raise £5.1m through a float on AIM. This would value the company at £20.4m.




Telecomms giant Cable & Wireless yesterday announced a joint venture with Web group Reality, the e-commerce arm of Great Universal Stores. C&W wants to become a major player in Europe's data business services provision.




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