The451.com goes up in flames

The technology news and analysis dot-com, which took its name from the flashpoint in Fahrenheit of paper, had just too high a burn rate

The451.com, one of the UK's most high profile tech newswire start-ups of the last couple of years, is to fold, according to sources. No new content has been posted on the site since Friday, and staff are expecting the official announcement today.

A spokesman at the company declined to comment, but did not deny the rumours. There have been talks recently at the company to try to resolve its fate, but it is unclear how successful these have been. The451.com's backers, analyst firm Durlacher, did not return requests for comment this morning.

Founded in December 1999 and launched in April 2000, the451.com positioned itself as more of a high-tech analyst company than a newswire, and focused on the technology, communications and media industries. Rather than concentrate on breaking news, the451.com focused on more in-depth analysis, explaining the significance of industry events, technical developments and business models. It sold content on a subscription basis, but never gained enough subscribers to make it a viable operation.

The closure follows those earlier this year of several high-profile print publications that grew substantially in the late '90s on the back of the dot-com boom. In August, the Industry Standard filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after negotiations to sell it broke down. Some 160 out of a total of 180 staff were laid off. And in July, Business 2.0 stopped publishing editions of the magazine in Germany, Italy and the UK.

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