Incubator Puts US $3 Million into

[London, ENGLAND] U.K. financial services incubator
Birchin Ventures
announced Friday an investment of nearly US $3 million
in, a company that plans to offer
Web services to independent financial advisers (IFAs).

In return for its investment, Birchin is taking a
30 percent stake in the business. It will make the finance
available in four tranches of half-million pounds sterling.

Founded in January 2000, — which
goes live on the Web on October 1 — is being designed
to allow IFAs set up bespoke Web sites with financial
information and products branded specially for them.

The chairman of is Ann Marie Martyn,
who was formerly chief executive of IFA Promotion,
the body that represents IFAs in the U.K.

Birchin Chairman Colyn Gardner said the site has
already signed up many IFAs who have been attracted
by this low cost solution to the Internet.

“Our investment in is a further step
in establishing a broad, financial services based portfolio
of companies able to capitalize on the opportunities
afforded by the Internet and the rapid changes in
technology,” said Gardner.

Mitchell Philpott, director of Quay New Media which
is providing the Web site for the project, explained
that there are 10,500 IFAs, all of whom will be given
a free Web page and directory listing.

“IFAs who wish to upgrade their listing to offer e-commerce
services direct from their pages will pay a monthly charge
of between 100 and 300 pounds,” said Philpott.

During September, will be promoting
the service to IFAs prior to the official launch.

And yes, the alternative spelling,
(with an “o”), has been registered by the firm.

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