One-time internet millionaires Alan Frame and Neil Mackwood, both former Daily Express staff, have split after their property website folded this autumn.
All 18 staff at 0800-4-Homes, of which Frame was managing director, lost their jobs when the site closed at the end of September.
Frame and Mackwood became cyber millionaires, when the site, then called Home-2-Home, was sold to an AIM-listed company two years ago.
Frame remained as managing director of the cash-rich listed company, Property Internet, when it was renamed and restructured and, with other members of the board, is now aiming for a reverse takeover of another company – not entirely reliant on the internet. They have a shortlist of three, one of which is a publishing company.
Their decision to close what had been a very successful property website came as the economy took a downturn and some of the big mortgage companies set up their own online property services in competition.
Frame said: "Our pockets are deep but not that deep. It would have been a fight to the death. The site did terribly well but it would have taken too long to make a profit".
Mackwood, no longer with the company, is freelancing.
Frame said the run-up to closure of the website was worse than the actual deed. "Once it is done, it stops all uncertainty," he said. "We had a brilliant team which is reflected in the fact that they have all gone to decent jobs."
By Jean Morgan