AsiaPaperMarkets.com secures $10 million funding

SINGAPORE, 14 June 2000 -- AsiaPaperMarkets.com, announced that it has secured S$10 million in first round fundingfrom the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), AsiaTech Ventures and AsiaCommerce.

SINGAPORE, 14 June 2000 -- AsiaPaperMarkets.com, announced that it has secured S$10 million in first round funding from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), AsiaTech Ventures and AsiaCommerce.

AsiaPaperMarkets.com also announced that it has selected Ariba, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBA), a business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce platform provider, to power their new marketplace with the Ariba B2B Commerce Platform.

"The presence of digital marketplaces such as AsiaPaperMarkets.com will encourage online trading for the pulp and paper industry in Asia. The development of digital marketplaces for different industries will increase the appeal of Singapore as a leading E-Commerce hub in the global economy," said Miss Yong Ying-I, Chief Executive Officer of IDA.


"AsiaPaperMarkets.com was created to empower buyers and sellers in the pulp and paper industry to conduct online B2B commerce to make the demand and supply chain seamless and efficient, thereby improving their bottom-line."

- Upen Nagpal
Director
AsiaPaperMarkets.com


"Today you find a whole slew of B2B exchanges hitting the market in Asia. Although there is some skepticism in the market about these exchanges, we firmly support the AsiaPaperMarkets.com business model. With a huge market potential that is largely untapped, and several ways to create liquidity in this industry, the opportunity is obvious." said Nikunj Jinsi, Managing Director of AsiaTech Ventures in Singapore.

AsiaTech Ventures will support AsiaPaperMarkets.com by exposing them to their high profile investors in the Asia Java Fund as well as to their other partners. By doing so, they hope to provide leverage for AsiaPaperMarkets.com in important markets such as PRC, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

AsiaPaperMarkets.com aims to be the digital marketplace for the pulp and paper industry in the region and capture at least 50 per cent of all online transactions for raw materials and finished goods by 2003.

It will cater to the diverse needs of buyers and sellers in Asia, including Australia, New Zealand, Middle East and Africa, and is well positioned to leverage the tremendous business potential in one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

"Our members will also enjoy the availability of a host of e-business solutions on sales, procurement, logistics planning and management, financial settlement, insurance, content, recruitment and technical consulting services." said Upen Nagpal, Director of AsiaPaperMarkets.com.

Buyers and sellers will benefit from real-time information on the Asian pulp and paper market in Asian languages such as Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Bahasa Indonesia.

Members can also look forward to the 'My Market' feature on AsiaPaperMarkets.com's site which enables members to customize their preferences. Members can maintain personal profiles, set and receive product alerts, and view details of postings and bids. Members can also define their own marketplace by selecting from AsiaPaperMarkets.com's directory, by country or member type, a list of companies to be included in their personal marketplace.

Future-proof potential
Unlike the US and Europe, the Asian marketplace is highly fragmented with more than 100,000 companies, diverse quality requirements and business practices. Inefficiencies in the supply chain have adversely impacted the profitability of many companies.

The Asian pulp and paper industry is currently estimated to be worth approximately US$200 billion, and anticipated to grow more than 5 per cent annually over the next decade. This is partly due to the extensive growth in the manufacturing and trade sectors, high economic growth and rapid rate of urbanisation. Coupled with the fact that approximately 50 per cent of the world's population lives in Asia, it is likely that the growth in paper demand will be unabated.

Thirteen subsidiary offices are currently being incorporated in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Japan, Philippines, Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Dubai and South Africa.

Strategic Value-Add Partners
AsiaPaperMarkets.com has a close working relationship with Ariba, a B2B platform provider worldwide. It will provide AsiaPaperMarkets.com with the required scalability and flexibility to adapt to the diverse business practice implementations in Asia.

"We are pleased to be working closely with AsiaPaperMarkets.com, providing Ariba Marketplace and Dynamic Trade solutions to them, to help achieve their vision of facilitating efficient trading amongs suppliers and buyers in the paper and pulp industry in Asia. This is a key vertical industry in Asia wherein significant productivity and cost savings can be achieved", said Dr Mukesh Aghi, Managing Director for Ariba Asia Pacific.

AsiaPaperMarkets.com has also commissioned PlanetAsia.com, one of the region's leading e-commerce systems integrator to assist with AsiaPaperMarket.com's site technical developments.

AsiaPaperMarkets.com has partnered with ABN AMRO Bank, to offer payment services to its members. Buyers and sellers will have the option of utilizing the online payment option provided by ABN AMRO to complete a transaction on AsiaPaperMarkets.com's site without going through the usual lengthy and costly process of issuing documentary credit.

AsiaPaperMarkets.com is also working on an alliance with SembCorp Logistics (SCL), which will allow members to not only tap on SCL's Asia-wide logistics network, but also benefit from competitive, reliable and customer-oriented logistics solutions for domestic and international shipments. In addition, members will also have access to a logistics support system that will enable them to receive online quotations.

All in all, AsiaPaperMarkets.com aims to be the one-stop solution to all the needs of buyers and sellers in the Asian pulp and paper industry.

About AsiaPaperMarkets.com
Founded in 1999, AsiaPaperMarkets.com is an online marketplace for the pulp and paper industry focusing on Asia, including Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East.

It's objective is to provide solutions to improve profitability for the industry by making the demand and supply chain seamless and efficient.

It's pricing model will allow both sellers and buyers to secure better prices and increase their revenue base.

AsiaPaperMarkets.com's site aims to provide real time information and ensure that only intermediaries providing value in the supply chain will remain. It will also allow members to take advantage of online logistics and payment services.

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