Mainland online trading company EachNet has secured US$20.5 million in financing from a group of international investors. The investors are led by Europatweb, the Internet venture-capital arm of Paris-based Groupe Arnault. Additional funds were secured from United States-based Whitney & Co, AsiaTech Ventures and Orchid Asia, which already claim stakes in the company. Yesterday's announcement represents one of the largest venture-capital investment rounds to be offered to a mainland-based Internet concern and comes at a time when overseas enthusiasm for the country's online companies is fading. EachNet is the country's most successful online auction and trading company, claiming 80 per cent market share by listings and transactions. Since its establishment in August last year, the company has registered 2.3 million users and conducted business worth more than 300 million yuan (about HK$281 million). Founder and chief executive Shao Bo said the new investment would be used to broaden the company's strategic partnerships and improve trading services. 'We want to provide more services, improve our marketing and grow our strategic partnerships.' EachNet offers auction services to the users of Sina.com, a Nasdaq-listed company, through the co-branded Web site, each net.sina.com.cn. The company is looking towards developing similar partnerships with Netease, which also took part in the latest round of financing as a strategic investor. The company wants to expand its auction and fixed-price platforms and address payment and distribution bottlenecks that are hindering the development of e-commerce in the mainland. The company has been successful in selling mobile telephone handsets, buoyed in part by an exclusive online mobile-phone distribution licence with China Mobile. Mr Shao said EachNet sells 150 cellular handsets daily in Shanghai. 'We want to continue to grow and start revenue on a continuous growth path towards profitability,' he said.