Fledgling internet intermediary Rapidinsure was facing an uncertain future this week after one of its biggest potential backers suddenly withdrew funding at the last minute.
The company is now desperately seeking capital from other sources and has turned to several “bricks and mortar” firms in the insurance industry for help.
Rapidinsure director James Spalding admitted the set-back had occurred, but refused to provide details of which financier had withdrawn.
“We had a big investor lined up that moved out on us at the last minute,” he said. “We are evaluating what that means to us.”
Rapidinsure was formally launched in March this year. The company was created by Daryl Mattocks, the internet millionaire behind the Internet Bookshop.
Mattocks is flanked by ex-IBM project manager James Spalding and ex-broker Richard Dunbabin.
The terrestrial television company, Channel 5, took a 10%, £1m equity stake in Rapidinsure, and in return let the intermediary sponsor the weather.
The timing of the withdrawal could not have come at a worse time for Rapidinsure. Over the past few weeks, the company has been looking for insurers to allow it to extend the classes of business it underwrites.
In June this year, Rapidinsure said it was seeking to raise £14.7m in extra capital through the private sale of 41% of its shares.
Spalding was unavailable for comment on whether this exercise had proved a success.
Rapinsure works on behalf of several insurers, including Allianz Cornhill, Northern Star, Fortis and Kiln Life.
When Rapidinsure launched, Mattocks claimed the insurance market was ideally suited to ecommerce, but in the past few months the cybermediary has struggled to find the right insurers.