RealTime IT News

A Speedy Little Promo for Webvan

Internet grocery company Webvan Group Inc., which just yesterday said it expects a smaller than expected fourth quarter loss, teamed up with Telocity Inc. to launch a promotion that offers customers several months of free high-speed Net access.

Webvan.com customers who sign up with Telocity via the promotion will get two free months of high-speed Internet access and four $25 coupons toward future purchases on Webvan.com.

The promotion has already begun in the San Francisco and Sacramento areas and will roll out in all 10 Webvan markets over the next several months. Financial arrangements between the companies were not disclosed.

"This partnership is part of our ongoing effort to give our customers a shopping experience that is second-to-none," said George T. Shaheen, chairman and CEO of Webvan. "Telocity's high-speed Internet access will make shopping on webvan.com even easier."

"Our partnership with Webvan, which sets a high standard for Internet retailing, enables Telocity to reach a large group of potential customers who could definitely benefit from having broadband service at home," said Patti Hart, CEO of Telocity.

Telocity's DSL services are enabled through its proprietary Telocity VelocityPort gateway. Telocity recently announced a new package of value-added services -- Connect & Protect -- that allows subscribers to have increased firewall security features and to network up to five home computers. The Telocity gateway has also been designed to enable home automation, remote control of residential electronics and voice-enabled services.

Webvan may be on a bit of a roll. Just yesterday the company, whose stock has been trading for less than $1 a share, said that preliminary estimates for the fourth quarter of 2000 indicate a pro forma diluted loss per share of approximately 23 cents on revenues of approximately $84 million. The company said it was benefiting "from synergies realized from our acquisition of HomeGrocer.com."

Analysts had expected a loss of 26 cents a share and revenue of about $100 million for the quarter.

Webvan stock was trading unchanged in the early going this morning after closing at about 47 cents a share. It has traded as low as 21 cents a share; its 52-week high is $18.50.

Webvan offers its shoppers in select areas around the country a personalized courier service that delivers grocery store and drugstore products into customers' homes within a timeframe of their choosing.