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Personal finance portal The Motley Fool has secured second-round funding of $30m (£20m) from investors including AOL Time Warner

Personal finance portal The Motley Fool has secured second-round funding of $30m (£20m) from a group of investors including AOL Time Warner Ventures and Softbank Finance.

Motley Fool, which is active in both the UK and the US, has both an online and an offline presence that includes books, newspaper columns and a radio show.

The site is intending to use the financing to boost its existing operations, although this is unlikely to lead to a significant recruitment drive for the company.

"We don't have specific plans for anything new but we aim to bolster our position of helping people learn and get involved in personal finance," said Motley Fool's media relations 'fool' Bill Dixon.

It's also in "late-stage negotiations" with Japanese mutual fund Morning Star, aided by its new relationship with Softbank.

According to Dixon, if the talks succeed then the two companies will launch a Fool site in Japan following the Anglo-American model, although the recent funding will not be used for this if it goes ahead. "We have figured out a model that brings value. Now we need to build a substantial business, which could mean we have to change the shape of the company," he added.

Existing investors Maveron and Mayfield Fund also participated in this round of financing, having initially helped the company raise $26.5m (£17m) in 1999.

Phil Southgate, the UK media relations 'wizard', added that the funding would enable Fool to continue to build its brand but denied that it had been hit by the recent upsurge in competition in the UK personal finance market.

"We're different to the rest of the market. There are lots of online players but not many big ones. In this business it's all about driving revenue and we're doing this," he said.


Published 8 February, 2001 by NMA Staff

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