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Servista.com, an online provider of home services in the UK, has secured E11m in second-round funding

Servista.com, an online provider of home services in the UK, has secured E11m in second-round funding from offline energy suppliers and European VCs.

The round was led by TXU Europe, owners of Norweb Energi and Eastern Energy. Also involved were Innotech, a German VC, Paris-based Sofinnova Partners and Arts Alliance.

Between them, these investors should allow Servista to both develop its UK business and make its first moves into Continental Europe. 'The UK is a great testing ground as it's one of the most deregulated markets in the world,' said Courtney Sheets (pictured), CEO of Servista.

But future emphasis will be split evenly between the UK and Europe. Expansion in Europe is likely to be with strategic partners and it now has some clear routes in.

Innotech is focused on IT, energy and environmental technology in Europe. Its founding investor was EnBW, Germany's third-largest utility and parent of Yello Strom, a consumer electricity brand.

'Innotech will certainly help us look at the opportunity in Germany, but also Scandinavia and Holland,' said Sheets. However, he felt France was less appealing as it has been slower to deregulate.

Founded in 1999, Servista launched in May last year. It currently offers phone, gas, and electricity in the UK, but is planing to expand to include DSL, Internet access, voice and data mobile services and financial services.

Sheets refused to indicate how many users had been signed up, other than saying it was 'a reasonable customer base'. The firm is targeting early 2002 to reach profit and Sheets claimed this round would be sufficient to get it there.

'TXU Europe was quite important to solidify our position in energy, primarily in the UK,' said Sheets. However, he added, 'It's not a go-it-alone approach,' and confirmed Servista is talking to other potential partners, primarily centred on the telecom, energy and financial sectors.

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Published 8 February, 2001 by NMA Staff

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