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Incubator Cube8 battens down hatches

No more new investments for six to twelve months

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Incubation company Cube8.com announced an operating loss of £4.9 million on revenue of £1.6 million in 2000 in its annual results today.

Over the course of last year, it invested in 16 companies, two of which have been sucked into the dotcom downturn (Web Street and TaoTalk), taking £1.3 million of Cube8's money with it. The company says it still has £3.1 million in the bank - enough to last it two-and-a-half years at current spending.

However, following the recent glut of dotcoms failures and very poor market conditions, Cube8 has decided to batten down the hatches and make the most of what it's got - a mixture of dotcom and offline companies with online arms. No more money will be invested for six to twelve months.

The company is also splitting in two. Cube8 Ventures Ltd will look after the companies it has invested in and the Winfield Partnership plc (grand sounding, you'll note) will be the company consulting side, bringing in the cash.

Of the companies Cube8 currently has interests in, around four are making a profit, another three or so are nearly there - including Blue Carrots - and the others are still making a loss. The company admitted it has had to revise backwards its breakeven point.

In terms of business approach, Cube8 is following the more traditional approach rather than going for the big all-or-nothing approach that has seen many companies go under. It ain't rock n' roll, but it won't die young either. ®

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