Internet start-up RapidInsure is planning to raise £6m additional capital with the private sale of 41% of its shares.

The online intermediary was formed earlier this year with the issuance of 3m shares at a price of 33p each. The company then sold an 8% stake to Channel 5 in return for one year's sponsorship of the weather.

Finance director Malcolm Ruffell said: "This second round of funding was always part of our plans. The first round was to create seed capital to get set up and running."

Ruffell said the extra funding will be used to improve the company's brand and develop its range of products. He refused to say how much money the company has raised so far, but said the amount was "in line with expectations"

If RapidInsure raises the £6m figure before June 14, the founders are likely to seek more private investors.

RapidInsure already sells seven products including personal accident, household, pet, travel, and computer, but by the year end the company hopes to have as many as 70 products available.

RapidInsure refused to state how many policy holders it has won since it launched, but admitted the figure was in the hundreds rather than the thousands. The company would also not divulge the strike rate of site visitors buying products, though it is believed to be less than 7%.

Along with the announcement of the shares sell-off, RapidInsure also announced the appointment of Chris Moss as a non-executive director.

Ross previously held senior positions with both Virgin Atlantic and the Orange network, before setting up his own marketing agency, Red Zebra.