Catcha.com raises S$7.5 million

Leading Southeast Asian Search Engine Portal raises S$7.5 million inlatest round of financing and appoints new Chairman Singapore, 23 February - Catcha.
Written by ZDNet Staff, Contributor

Leading Southeast Asian Search Engine Portal raises S$7.5 million in latest round of financing and appoints new Chairman

Singapore, 23 February - Catcha.com, South East Asia's localised search engine portal, announced the completion of another round of financing, bringing the total raised to date to S$13 million.

Since its inception in July 1999, Catcha.com has grown tremendously from a four man start-up in Singapore to 85 staff spread over five offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia. Furthermore, the Company was recently announced as a nominee for the Internet World Asia Industry Awards for the coveted Hottest New Face of the Internet.

The funds raised would be used to continue the Company's aggressive acquisition spree, fund the continued development of the Catcha.com brand, conduct further R&D into Catcha.com's search engine and "Catching Technology", as well as develop cutting-edge Web technology such as free Internet-based SMS services.

Said Mr. Patrick Grove, CEO and Founder of Catcha.com: "Catcha.com has grown by leaps and bounds since we founded the company last year. The S$13 million raised will allow us to maintain our momentum and continue to grow at a blistering pace into the future."

Funding comes from existing investors such as Arboc Investments (a Shaw Family Investment Vehicle), OCBC, Wearnes & Walden and Mr. Peter Sung, who has also been appointed Chairman to the Catcha.com Board of Directors. An ideal candidate for the post, given his extensive experience in both the public and private sector, Mr. Sung brings years of experience and guidance to the young management team.

Formerly Minister of State for National Development, Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs, he was also Singapore's ambassador to the Philippines, returning in 1988 to be elected to parliament. Mr. Sung was also former CEO and Chairman of mainboard-listed Tuan Sing Holdings.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Sung said, "I am very impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit, dynamism and energy of the Catcha.com founders. They have clearly established themselves as leaders in this new information frontier and I look forward to sharing my experience with this very dynamic group." Mr. Sung joins Catcha.com at a very exciting phase of its development.

Following closely on the heels of Catcha.com's January 2000 acquisition of Yehey.com, the leading portal in the Philippines, the Company recently launched a free web-based SMS service, which is available to all Singapore-registered mobile phones. Response to the service has exceeded all expectations, with over 10,000 users having signed up over the last five days.

Catcha.com's stock alert - one of the more popular features of the SMS service - allows users to receive automated SMS messages when their targeted stocks reach pre-determined prices. Internet users can look forward to further offerings from the fast growing Internet portal. In line with their mission to fully meet local needs and wants, the company expects to launch many other innovative services in the weeks to come.

About Catcha.com
Catcha.com is Southeast Asia's leading network of localised portals, formed following the tripartite merger between leading search engines in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Headquartered in Singapore, Catcha.com has permanent offices in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Australia. Catcha.com provides Internet users the most comprehensive directory of Asian Internet content. This extensive and growing range of localised content provides Internet users a wholly insider's view of each locality, creating a free online information resource for all. The Company is also developing a regional family of media properties, such as XUDIO.com, Asia's leading online distributor of digital music.

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