raises another £10m

Two women entrepreneurs confirmed their status heading one of Britain's fastest-growing online businesses yesterday when raised another £10m to fund expansion.

Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish threw in careers in advertising and publishing to set up the firm six years ago with £70,000 raised from remortgaging their homes.

Now Fidelity is leading a consortium of investors which has pumped extra cash into the online market place that stocks 50,000 gifts and gadgets.

The money come from the US fund manager's venture capital arm, Fidelity Growth Partners, alongside Index Ventures and Greylock Partners, which have previously invested in the company.

Davor Hebel from FGPE and Greylock Partners' Laurel Bowden will join the board following the investment. It is the fourth round of funding for the website, which specialises in items that might otherwise be bought in "urban marketplaces, villages fairs or small boutiques".

Notonthehighstreet has grown an initial network of 95 small business partners to more than 3,000. Its founders argue that they have capitalised on a growing move away from mass market, mass-produced products in favour of more unique and personalised goods.

The company said the investment would allow it to continue growing its offering and brand while investing in technology. It has recently launched a multi-currency capability with a view to going global while continuing to drive its UK growth.

Mrs Tucker, the chief executive, said: "We are thrilled to be working with FGPE. With them, we will expand the opportunities in the UK by supporting more talented small businesses and so becoming the number one destination for original, thoughtful products which celebrate what matters to an individual."

Mr Hebel said: "In a few short years has successfully reached a significant portion of the UK population. We are very excited to be part of the next phase of the company's journey as it looks to transform the global gifting market."