Ecountries may close down

News startup informs staff it's the end of the line

UK-based global news start-up Ecountries looked set to close its doors and join the growing number of dot-com companies to fail Wednesday after reportedly telling staff that funding has dried up.

The Web site could not contacted for comment and its backers, which include venture capital firms 3i, Elderstree and Pi Capital, refused to comment, although a spokeswoman for 3i said that a statement is being prepared.

The UK dot-com startup scene is littered with casualties unable to find consistent financial backing after riding early market enthusiasm for the Internet. These include retailer Boo.com, financial news site Thestreet.co.uk and health site Clickmango.com.

Ecountries secured $7m (£4.7m) first round funding and was reported to have obtained another $3m last year.

See techTrader for the latest technology investment news, plus quotes and research.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the ZDNet news forums.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read other letters.