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TiNSHED Plays Online Shopping Angel

Australian IT business angel investment group TiNSHED will help online grocer ShopFast expand its services in the local market, after pouring AUD$2.6 million (US$1.64 million) into the e-tailer.

TiNSHED will team up with US technology fund J&W Seligman and Co to co-invest in the online grocery venture, which launched in November 1998.

TiNSHED has chosen to partner with Seligman because of its experience in the online grocery provision market.

"In 1999 Seligman invested in Webvan, who have become the most successful online grocer in the US," said TiNSHED chief executive officer Janusz Hooker.

ShopFast delivers general groceries, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and seafood, bakery items and alcohol to the Sydney metropolitan area. The site currently has more than 20,000 items in its inventory and 35,000 registered users.

With this funding the company intends to expand its operations nationwide.

It will also use the capital to speed its plans to move into other areas of trade, such as prepared meals, books and CDs, to eventually become a 'one-stop' e-commerce site.

ShopFast also plans to add to its more fulfilment centres to its base in Sydney, and will provide more vehicles and couriers as it penetrates state capital cities.



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