QXL Expands Excite Connection In Europe

Pan-European online auction site QXL.com (Nasdaq: QXLC) further expanded its distribution reach across the continent today, as the London-based company announced deals to create co-branded auction pages with Web portal Excite.

According to QXL, the agreement enables Excite users to access its auction community site on co-branded pages for its sites in the UK, France and Germany. The financial considerations were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to be the first online auction house to have co-branded, pan-European auctions with Excite,” said QXL CEO Jim Rose.

“This agreement provides Excite users with quick and easy access to QXL auction sites, offering them thousands of auctions as well as an enjoyable and entertaining introduction to e-commerce.”

QXL also has localized sites in Germany, the Netherlands and Italy. In addition to offering person-to-person auctions, the company allows users to bid on products and services from businesses that offer everything from air travel to consumer electronics.

Off the Block

QXL was one of the first online auction sites to spring up in Europe. Founded in late 1997 and launched in January of 1998, the company is a creation of a former Financial Times of London columnist.

The company received $12 million (US$) in backing from venture capitalists in February. That financing marked one of the largest e-commerce investments in Europe at the time.

Since then, QXL has made steady progress. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Forrester Research called it the best e-commerce site in Europe in September, just a month before the company was listed publicly on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

QXL had some 246,000 registered users by the end of September. The company booked losses of $17.8 million for the second quarter of 1999.

Other Agreements

In addition to its distribution deals with Excite, QXL has agreements with AOL in Germany, France and the UK. It launched its Dutch site in October and is likely looking at other European countries for possible expansion.

QXL also managed a great public relations coup in September when it was chosen as the exclusive auctioneer of London’s famed Wembley Stadium.

The venerable 76 year-old arena, the site of the 1948 Olympics, 1966 World Cup and countless other notable sporting events, is being demolished next year to make way for a new structure.

QXL will auction off pieces and fittings of Wembley to registered participants.

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