Taxi Interactive Ltd, a UK-based e-commerce software vendor will today launch its first product, a shopping comparison tool called Taxi. The software enables the user to choose a particular type of product and it searches its affiliated web sites, providing prices for the item(s) the customer is contemplating buying. Taxi also contains tracking and profiling capabilities that enable it to build up a picture of the user’s buying habits, then send him or her news of particular promotions being carried out by vendors in the scheme. Taxi Interactive founder and chief executive Jonathan Hammond says the company’s revenue streams come from various sources. Firstly, the merchants pay for all offer-based advertising, i.e. for the special offer updates. Secondly, the company takes a percentage of the value of each transaction from the merchants, varying between 5% and 15%, depending on the terms of each agreement. Thirdly, beyond the anchor partners who helped Taxi develop the service and thus get free exposure within it, subsequent subscribers to the service will be charged extra for what Hammond calls a premium branded channel, by which he means an OEM licensing agreement of the Taxi technology. There have been a plethora of similar tools over the past couple of years, the developers of which have mostly been acquired by portal companies. For instance, Inktomi Inc bought C2B Technologies last month (09/02/98) and a year ago Excite paid $35m for Netbot Inc and its Jango shopping comparison tool (10/17/97).