Internet grocery service Webvan Group is in need of a sizeable influx of cash if it is to survive 2001, according to the company’s annual report.

The e-tailer's net losses jumped from $144.6 million in 1999 to $453.3m last year, when it merged with rival HomeGrocer. In a note added to the financial statement, auditor Deloitte & Touche expressed “substantial doubt about Webvan's ability to continue as a going concern.”

Webvan announced that, to reach profitability by the end of next year, it anticipated having to find an extra $5m–$15m in Q4 this year, and a further $40m–$60m in the first half of 2002. Remaining optimistic, the company expressed the belief that “once we have proved our business model the terms for new capital will be more favorable.”

News source: New York Times