Kiwis bankroll new Dotcom site

NEW WEBSITE: Kim Dotcom.
NEW WEBSITE: Kim Dotcom.

Kim Dotcom's new Mega file-locker service is understood to have been largely bankrolled by Kiwi investors.

Mega spokesman Finn Batato said he was sure Dotcom would provide more information on the service's funding at its launch on Sunday but said the venture was not in need of new investors in the short term.

"Our first round is financed," he said.

"We might go for a second round but that is not decided yet and wouldn't take place anytime soon."

Batato is one of the three Megaupload associates arrested alongside Dotcom on copyright and racketeering charges last year.

Wellington-based e-commerce expert Stefan Korn said new technology meant it would definitely be possible to get a service like Mega off the ground for less than $100,000 and he believed it could prove a good investment.

"In 'investment-land' you back the jockey not the horse. Someone with Dotcom's profile will have no problem at all attracting investors. Dotcom has built up a number of businesses to significant scale so he definitely knows what is involved."

Dotcom's reputed $200 million personal fortune remains frozen by United States and New Zealand authorities following the charges, aside from a $60,000 monthly allowance for living expenses.

Mega has bought radio ads promoting the service but most of its costs would be in monthly rental of the storage capacity and bandwidth required to host members' files.

Megabox, a more potentially controversial service, is due to follow Mega in six months.

Megabox will let people listen to music uploaded by participating artists for free, in return for members downloading software that will substitute at least some online adverts on any websites members visited with ads served up by Mega.

The Dominion Post