Designing Websites Attracts Advertising with £75million Company!

Names: Alex Viall, Chris Pilling and Nick Roberts.

Ages: Alex, 31 years. Chris, 33 years. Nick, 30 years.

'Foolish' Idea: Designing websites for others.

Start-up Capital: Pooled £10,000 each.

How Idea was Launched:

The trio started the Battersea-based Internet company, Datanet. The three partners, met at university.

Viall gave up his £40,000-a-year job at Barings Securities to start up Datanet. As soon as companies saw the incredible advertising potential of the Internet, Datanet took off.

Sales: One sector of the company provides specialist sites for finance buffs in the city, paid for by subscription.

Datanet also has its own interactive sports sites containing large databases for use by anoraks, journalists and gamblers.

Earnings: In 1999, the Datanet group was worth at least £75million. Alex, Chris and Nick each have a 20% stake.

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