Boo.com's horizon darkened today when liquidator KPMG made redundant the 220 (out of 250) staff it had sent home on unpaid leave last week. Meanwhile, a second dot.com, Net Imperative, has entered liquidation after just six months of operation.
Boo.com liquidator Mick McLoughlin said in a statement this afternoon that the layoffs were necessary to protect the firm's funds and that talks were still continuing with prospective buyers.
"To protect the business' remaining funds, we have today had no option but to make some 220 redundancies amongst the company's 250 staff," he said.
"Negotiations with potential buyers of Boo.com began over the weekend and are continuing throughout this week. We are looking towards making a decision on a possible sale of the business in whole or in parts within days. But there remains the possibility that a successful sale will not be achieved and the liquidation will continue to its conclusion," he added.
Prospects that Boo.com would be sold either as a going concern or in parts initially looked bright after KPMG received more than 30 enquiries in the 24 hours after being appointed as liquidators. KPMG then reported Friday that several parties had met KPMG's condition of a £1m deposit to begin sales talks over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Kroll Buchler Phillips have been appointed as provisional liquidators for £2m-valued Net Imperative, a website targeted at the UK's web community, following a board meting this morning.
The news followed weekend reports that Net Imperative needed £800,000 more funds to continue. Brokers Durlacher said it had invested £570,000 in Net Imperative, representing some 28.5 per cent of the company, but less than two per cent of its investment portfolio.
A report on Net Imperative's website written by its staff said that editorial operations would continue as normal whilst the administrator assessed the situation. The summary of the report also included a link urging visitors to subscribe to the website's Investment Newsletter.
Net Imperative said all enquires were being referred to a statement issued by Durlacher earlier today, which is available on the broker's website.
Robot can assemble Ikea furniture in under 10 minutes - several hours less than the average human
Researchers claim to be one step closer to developing flexible screen televisions, tablets and phones
Thanks to the creation of an ultrafast, nanoscale transistor
The 'first demonstration' of a scalable method for manufacturing graphene
Lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket today following postponement on Monday