The Queen to make million from Getmapping.com

The list of investors to make a million pounds from the dot.com investment boom has expanded to include the Queen, who is set to reap a £1.1m paper profit after investing around £100,000 in Getmapping.com.

The company, which is producing the Millennium Map, the first complete and seamless aerial photograph of Britain, is planning a £40m flotation on AIM next month. Getmapping will be looking to raise about £7m through the flotation of around 15 to 20 per cent of its shares.

Headed by Tristram Cary, chief executive, and Joe Studholme, the chairman, Getmapping will provide the photographic map from a single archive using the internet as the main method of distribution.

The map will be detailed enough to allow viewers to focus on individual automobiles, houses and trees.

"The flotation and fund raising will enable us to realise the full potential of the map, especially on the internet, where it truly comes alive," said Mr Cary.

"We will also look to duplicate our UK success by acquiring similar data overseas where no similar concept yet exists."

The Queen's 3 per cent stake is expected to be worth around £1.2m. It is believed she will retain the shares rather than opt for a quick profit on the investment which was made in November.

Lord Fellowes, who until last year was the Queen's private secretary, is a member of the board of Getmapping. Sir Michael Peat, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, is understood to have advised the Queen on her investment, although she herself is said to be fully apprised about the market potential of new technology companies.

Getmapping plans to use the proceeds from the initial public offer to further develop its website. It will also use the funds to complete the aeroplane surveys of Britain needed for the photographic data. About 85 per cent of the mapping is completed, with the remainder to be concluded by year-end.

"Since we launched the Millennium Map last year, public enthusiasm for it has been overwhelming," said Mr Cary. "We are creating a historical record with thousands of uses from studying coastal erosion to exploring a holiday destination."

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