FIREBOX.COM

Direct public offerings (DPOs) are the corporate finance contribution to the dotcom world. A DPO allows people to invest in an unlisted company through the internet.

Firebox intends to raise £1m and potential investors can do everything online – view the prospectus, apply for shares and pay for them. The offer has already given Firebox an implied valuation of £5m and it is the first non-listed POS prospectus for EO.

Firebox was established in 1998 but this is the first time Berwin Leighton has acted for it. Corporate finance partner Daniel Rosenberg met one of the founders at First Tuesday and the relationship blossomed from there, although the firm’s relationship with NewMedia SPARK, Firebox’s initial backers, certainly helped.

But despite recent concerns about the validity of dotcoms as both investment opportunities and clients, Berwin Leighton may have hooked up with a winner.

As well as the promotional and awareness-raising deal with lad mag Maxim, the ideal market for a male-oriented online gadget store, it is planning to use any capital raised for international expansion and the development of new sales channels.