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FortuneCity withdraws

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FortuneCity - the "largest and fastest-growing international network of native language web-based communities on the Internet" - has sacked everyone but a few sales staff in the UK. We don't know yet about the company's other offices in the US (only voicemail) but the MD of the German office tells us no-one has been fired there.

FortuneCity is listed on Germany's Neuer Markt and is one of the largest Web sites in the world in terms of hits - coming eleventh last time we heard; its collapse in the UK is the most startling example to date that the grand dream of Web-based communities isn't financially viable.

In fact, if you review the history books, you'll find that Fortune City's increasing reliance on surveys exclaiming its size is as worrying as its increasing debt. Even more worrying, FortuneCity's loss each quarter was in direct proportion to its revenue. Every time it got bigger, it lost more money.

Quick review: in September 1999, FC was 15 largest in the world. Down to 25 in Nov99. Up to 22 in Feb2000. "In top 25" in May2000, and finally 21 in Oct 2000.

As for financial results:

Q2 1999. Revenue $1.5m. Loss $4.4m
Q3 1999. Revenue $2.25m. Loss $8.1m
Q1 2000. Revenue $3.4m. Loss $10.5m
Q3 2000. Revenue $2.5m. Loss $7.7m

FortuneCity has also made a number of large acquisitions over the years: Bravenet.com (20 per cent thereof), Gelon.net, V3.

We're waiting for the UK office to get back to us with full details. We'll keep you posted. ®

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