Pricerunner.com, a shopping comparison website, has secured GBP2.5 million in it’s third round of financing. Danish communication solutions company, TDC (previously Tele Denmark) led the funding.
Former investors, Atle, Bonnier Venture and NewMedia SPARK also participated.
The company was founded in Sweden in 1999 and incubated by Cell Ventures. It enables consumers to compare product specifications and prices offered by retailers on-line and on the high street. This service is available through websites in Swedish, Danish, French and English. In addition to this shoppers can access the objective information through mobile phones via both WAP and SMS technology.
Cell Ventures provided Pricerunner with GBP300,000 first stage funding in July 1999. In February last year Atle committed GBP1 million, Bonnier Venture GBP2 million and NewMedia SPARK GBP3 million. SPARK simultaneously acquired the Cell Ventures portfolio, as a result of which it now holds a 46 per cent stake in Pricerunner.
TDC invested through it’s corporate venturing arm TDC Innovation, which was established earlier this year with DKK300million (E40 million) for strategic investments. TDC will advise Pricerunner on how it can enhance its wireless business and develop 3G services. The current funding round is also expected to take Pricerunner to profitability.
Pricerunner’s managing director in the UK, Jamal Hirani, said: “TDC coming on board as a new investor is a further endorsement of the strength of Pricerunner’s business. The business model had to be examined in detail again, and this time in a very different climate. We’re excited about TDC coming on board and I believe that they are a perfect investor at this point in time for Pricerunner.”
Pricerunner’s competitor ShopSmart has not faired so well in the current Internet-unfriendly climate. After abandoning plans to float on the stock market it was recently bought by IndigoSquare, Barclaycard’s online shopping site, reportedly for a meagre GBP2 million. Instead of relying solely on advertising revenues Pricerunner supplements these earnings through the licensing of its technology and database and selling price and product information to retailers and manufacturers.