ShopGuide secures funds to pursue lead retail role

UK shopping portal site ShopGuide. co.uk has announced a first round of venture capital funding and appointed its first marketing director, in an effort to establish itself as a leading online retail site in time for Christmas.

Shopguide has secured over £1m of funding to payroll a doubling of staff and a heavyweight ad campaign online and offline in the run-up to Christmas.

Another, more substantial funding round is expected to be completed in the new year.

ShopGuide managing director Daniel Gestetner says ShopGuide has signed deals with LineOne, IPC Magazines, Hollinger and Boots-backed Handbag.com, Scoot, Mega-star, UK Max and UK Plus to promote the site in shopping-related areas of their sites.

Internet investment specialist Durlacher has taken a stake in the company and will be represented on the board. It is likely it will lead to a second effort to raise cash to help fund a push into Europe.

Steve Chippington will take on the role of marketing director for the site, which earlier this year launched its price comparison service, BargainFinder. This identifies the best online price offered by rival UK retailers in key categories such as the music and video.

Chippington was formerly head of movies marketing at BSkyB, and before that marketing director for PolyGram Video.

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