UK online commerce company Entranet is receiving a cash injection of £10 million from US-based venture capital firm General Atlantic Partners.
The company will more than double its employees from 150 to more than 300 in a major effort to become the "biggest online player in the UK," said Dharmesh Mistry, Entranet's head of technology.
The money will be used to fund an expansion into key European markets including Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. Entranet's client base in the financial services, and its UK experience of online banking, is the major reason for choosing these countries.
"They have a high penetration of online banking," said Mistry.
Entranet has been behind three Internet banks - the Co-op, the Woolwich and HSC Marbles. A recent survey of UK Internet banking habits showed that 41 per cent, almost half of those surveyed, would be willing to use Internet banking within a year.
This compares to only eight per cent of respondents who have a computer, who said they access their bank account over the Internet at present.
Asked whether they would use the service in five years' time, the number of people saying yes increased to over half (56 per cent) of all respondents.
The survey of 1002 people by NOP was commissioned by Barclays Bank which launched its new Internet banking service last week.
Barclays Online Banking includes facilities to allow customers to transfer money to any UK bank account, control regular payments (cancelling, amending and setting up standing orders, cancelling and viewing details on all direct debits), and downloading information from a bank account into a number of financial software packages.
Ironically, Barclays is reported to be closing up to 200 branches as Internet and telephone banking starts to force traditional players to cut costs.
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