By Janet Ong/ Bloomberg
Beijing: Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker and Intel Corp., the biggest chipmaker, said they started a Web site that allows Asian technology companies to set up connections with venture funds and governments.
The operators of www.softwareAP.net also include New York- based Group Intelligence Inc., which helps companies manage databases and create Internet portals, Red Herring Communications Inc.and Asian Venture Capital Journal, said John Hammelstad, director of Microsoft’s venture capital and emerging business. He declined to provide investment figures.
“It’s like we are arranging for a first date” between technology entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, he said. Hammelstad is attending a two-day Microsoft event, Government Leaders Forum Asia, which starts in Beijing on 18 April.
Private equity funds are expanding in Asia, home to the world’s two-fastest growing major economies, where growth is outpacing that of the U.S. and Europe. The funds raised $32 billion (Rs1,34,268 crore) last year, a third more than in 2005, mainly for investment in Australia, China, India and South Korea, according to Asian Venture.
The site aims to have 70,000 technology-related companies in the Asia-Pacific region in its database, Redmond, Washington- based Microsoft said.
Group Intelligence, the manager of the site, will help link entrepreneurs to companies that sell Microsoft’s software, Intel’s distributors, and more than 3,000 venture capitalists listed in Asian Venture Capital Journal, Hammelstad said.
Governments in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Philippines have signed up to be included on the site, he said. The service is free for now, and Microsoft may decide later to charge governments that want to be listed, Hammelstad said.
Asian Venture Capital Journal is a Hong Kong-based weekly publication on private equity and venture capital in Asia. Red Herring publishes a magazine focusing on computer-related companies and venture capitalists.