Gloomy weather for Deckchair.com

Geldof's travel site lays off a quarter of workforce

Deckchair.com, the travel site founded by singer Sir Bob Geldof, said Thursday it has let go 25 percent of its staff in an effort to cut costs. The site is the latest in a long line of UK Web startups to fold or cut back as investor sentiment has turned against the dot-com sector. The company also confirmed it is in talks with an unnamed rival which could result in it being bought.

The company, based in London, said it had laid off 13 of its 51 staff but has enough cash to continue operations. It is believed to have raised more than £5m since 1998. The site, which was set up to offer a simpler way to book travel online, launched in April 1999.

Other celebrity-fronted sites have hit troubled times in the past few months, among them Clickmango.com, a health and beauty site fronted by Joanna Lumley. The site shut down in September but the brand will be revived by a US company.

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