During an exclusive interview, finance director of TheStreet’s UK arm Brian Levine said the website had just started getting into its serious revenue model. The day before operations ceased, two of the largest financial institutions in the UK had agreed to do deals with TheStreet, deals which the dot.com had been struggling for some time to secure.
In a bizarre set of circumstances, TheStreet.com last week terminated its UK operations despite being one of the most promising dot.coms around.
The news came despite a strong business plan at the UK arm, that would have seen it come in under budget if allowed to continue operations.
A jittery US tech stock market, saw the US parent’s shares plummet, reducing the market value of TheStreet.com from $600m ten months ago to just $80m. This was exacerbated by problems in reaching an agreement with UK investors who demanded to see returns on their investment, and prompted them to withdraw their financial backing.
The parent company was forced to cut some of its losses, with the closure of the UK site the end result.
Thomas Clarke, chief executive of TheStreet.com, said the closure was a reflection that ‘the market had changed dramatically’. TheStreet.co.uk site, which accounted for about $9m (£6.3m) of its parent company’s consolidated new losses for the nine months ended 30 September 2000, terminated the employment of 64 staff, shut down a joint newsroom with The New York times and ceased operations immediately.
TheStreet.co.uk ended its operations solvent, with £1.2m in the bank, and with revenue growth inline with targets. Sales for the year would have reached £2.2m and were expected to grow to £4m the following year. The site offered financial news and commentary to more than 180,000 registered users and received between four and five million page impressions a month.
Read Accountancy Age this week for an interview with Brian Levine, former FD of TheStreet.co.uk.
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