Queen has dot-commoner blues

The Queen of England invests £100,000 in a dot-com startup, watches the stock price surge tenfold before it tumbles.

The Queen of England has become the latest entrepreneur to suffer from dot-com fallout, seeing the value of the Internet company she invested in plummet by over half a million pounds since its peak.

In January this year, the Queen invested £100,000 of her own money in Getmapping.com, a startup which provides aerial pictures of anywhere in the UK online. The venture initially seemed a shrewd move.

The company initially brought a tidy return to the royal investment. It was valued at £870,000 when floated and reached nearly £1m at its peak. As dot-com stocks have tumbled, however, the company's valuation has also dropped. The shares have fallen from their peak to be worth just £269,000.

Managing director of Getmapping.com, Tristram Cary, acknowledges that the company has also had difficulties meeting targets. He says there have been technical difficulties with building the geographical database and that bad weather has delayed the company's aerial mapping. He remains confident that things will turn around.

"It's taken longer than expected," says Cary. "My view is that when we have an accurate country-wide map, we will have an extremely attractive data set and attract a lot of sales."

Cary says Getmapping.com hopes to have built a complete database by May next year.


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