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Reuters Joins $11m First Round for ASP Startup Genient

European ASP startup Genient announced global news and financial information provider Reuters Group plc as a backer today, bringing its first-round funding to £7.5m ($11.2m).

Genient had previously (Jun 26th) announced closing £5.5m ($8.2m) in funding led by LMS Capital, pending finalisation of the contribution from Reuters Venture Capitals Greenhouse Fund. A Reuters representative joins the Genient board as a non-executive director.

Genient, which bills itself as Europes first virtual office for small businesses, will deliver back office solutions over the Internet, integrated with real-time content and business services.

"We're looking at integration not only of applications and services, but of applications, services and content," said Guilloteau. "We're looking at how we deliver that dynamically, and personalised for each individual customer."

In addition to regular news and financial information, Genient plans to provide task-related content. "We have something we call 'Action Content'," CEO Eric Guilloteau told ASP-News last week. For instance, it enables the business user to look up the current tax rules on a specific point while entering a transaction into the system.

Genient is developing a web-based, integrated suite of back-office applications and services such as payroll, recruitment, HR, accounting and administration, for companies of less than 250 employees

The solution is delivered primarily as a white-label service through partners who already address the small business market, such as telcos, banks and online marketplaces.

Due to launch in the UK in the autumn, Genient believes businesses using its services could save up to one day per week in time spent on administration, while reducing initial IT costs by up to 70%.

Its June announcement also revealed its signing of OpenAir.com to provide time management, expenses and invoicing packages to its customers. Under the exclusive arrangement, Genient will localise the OpenAir.com package for the UK market and integrate it with its other services. Other partners of Genient include Dun and Bradstreet.

Other investors are Atlas Venture and a number of individuals, including Mark Hoffman, CEO and chairman of Commerce One, and Stratton Sclavos, president and CEO of VeriSign. This follows an initial round of seed funding from Atlas and selected individuals that closed in Dec 1999.

  • There will be more analysis of Genient's business model in August's ASP News Review newsletter, available exclusively to subscribers.