Dixon’s Freeserve has denied that its high “churn rate” shows how increased competition is beginning to impact its growth, shortly before it makes a public share offering.
Freeserve, which is set for a £1.4 billion stock market flotation this month, is losing around 4,000 registered users a day on analysis of its prospectus.
For every five new users that sign up for Freeserve, three desert. The figures are revealed in the prospectus for the forthcoming flotation. Freeserve however, denied this was a major concern.
“It really is drawing conclusions from the figures,” a spokesperson for Freeserve said. “It is being implied that people are deserting and going elsewhere, but this is not true - you have to take into account other factors like holidays, the hot weather and the fact that some people sign up at home and then end up accessing email and the Internet primarily from work.”
Meanwhile Freeserve has teamed up with value added telecommunications company World Telecom to offer Web based email to the online service’s 1.25 million registered users and vistiors to the Freeserve site.
Once registered users will be able to send and receive emails accessing their Freeserve email from any Internet connection, anywhere in the world using their normal name and password. The service is slated to go live this autumn.
John Pluthero, chief executive of Freeserve said in a statement: “Now you won’t need to be at your own PC but can collect your Freeserve email from any Internet ready PC wherever you are.”
It will sell advertising on banners on the user’s Web email pages with avertising revenue being shared between Freeserve and World Telecom.
Freeserve and its parent Dixons hope to raise about £250 million by offering shares to the public. More than 114,000 people have registered an interest and the float is expected to be heavily subscribed.
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