Hong Kong, 2 April 2000 – CyberWorks Ventures, the venture capital arm of Pacific Century CyberWorks, the technology flagship of the Pacific Century Group, announced eight new investments today. Continuing its rapid investment pace, CyberWorks Ventures (CWV) has invested in a total of 42 companies, including those announced today, since it's inception eight months ago.
The investments today reflect CWV’s three-pronged strategy. CWV invests to foster rapid growth and industry leadership across PCCW’s network and the Asian Internet economy. The division’s second strategy is to aggregate venture technologies into a turnkey server operating system solution to provide a one-stop-shop for businesses that plan to migrate to the web. Finally, CWV aims to build the largest, most diverse network of Internet companies in Asia.
The following eight new investments were finalised within the last three months:
- a $US 3 million investment in Beatnik Inc., developer of professional audio tools and technologies;
- A stake in Dotcast Inc., a broadband communications company located in Silicon Valley enabling rich-media content, e-commerce and communication service providers to more effectively deliver digital products and services to businesses and consumers;
- A further increase in equity shareholding in Outblaze to 46 percent. Outblaze provides customisable email, mailing list, message boards and other services for web sites offering private label portal services;
- A minor stake in Palm, Inc., provider of the popular Palm computing devices;
- A 5 percent stake in Rediff, India’s largest Internet portal, with 560,000 registered email users and 57 million page views per month as of January 2000 according to AC Nielsen;
- A 4.65 percent investment in SOHU.com, one of the most popular; Internet portals in mainland China;
- A stake in consumer ratings company Taste For Living, an on-line health and wellness company that originates from the highly acclaimed Taste For Living Cookbook by Michael Milken;
- A 22.4 percent investment in 3Fusion, who provides easy-to-implement e-commerce platforms and embedded content catalogs.
PCCW's division Pacific Convergence Cooperation (PCC) has taken a 49% stake in Data Access, an Indian Internet service provider.
These transactions follow 11 announced in the first quarter of this year, including:
- Formation of $US1.5 billion venture capital fund @Ventures Global Partners with CMGI, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst to invest in emerging Internet businesses in Europe, Asia and the Americas;
- An agreement to co-invest with Bowman Capital in selected expansion-stage, privately held technology companies with significant growth potential in Asian markets;
- The formation of CMGI Asia, a 50/50 joint venture with CMGI, to create and operate Internet-related business in the Asia Pacific region;
- A 12.5 percent investment in DigiScents Inc., the pioneer of digital scent technology;
- A 10 percent investment in iMerchants, the e-commerce solutions provider;
- An 8 percent stake in Intelligenesis Corporation, a software company developing artificial intelligence technology;
- A 12.5 percent equity stake in Magically Inc., a U.S.-based application service provider (ASP), that develops virtual desktop technology;
- A 25 percent stake in pp.com, Hong Kong’s first independent property website;
- The launch of Pacific Century SoftNet (PCCW’s 50/50 joint venture with SoftNet), which will market high speed Internet access, technical expertise and related services and products to Asian cable operators and their 130 million subscribers in more than 50 Asian countries;
- A 4.25 percent stake in tom.com, the vertical portal for China that will focus on creating a unified database of global and PRC Chinese Web users;
- An investment in TurboLinux Inc., a leading international provider of the Linux operating software;
- A strategic stake in Weave Innovations, developers of the StoryBox platform for the distribution of digital images and personalized content;
About Beatnik, Inc.
Beatnik, Inc. brings interactive music and sound to the Web through its combination of technology, content and community. Beatnik’s solution includes a line of applications, production music, sound content and software technologies that enables the integration of interactive audio content into the Web experience, known as sonification. Beatnik develops, markets and sells its interactive audio solution to a community of creative professionals, potential licensees of its technology and consumers enabling them to build and interact with music and sound over the Web, on computers and other digital devices.
About Bowman Capital
Bowman Capital is a premier investment management firm, specializing in both public and private technology growth companies. Founded in 1995 and located in Silicon Valley, the firm currently manages over $5 billion in assets. The firm’s private equity investments focus on leading expansion-stage companies building the New Internet Economy.
With more than 60 companies, CMGI, Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) represents a large, diverse network of Internet companies in the world. This network includes both CMGI operating companies and a growing number of synergistic investments through its venture capital affiliate, @Ventures. Compaq, Intel, Microsoft, Pacific Century CyberWorks and Sumitomo hold minority positions in CMGI.
About Data Access
Data Access is a Delhi-based Internet service provider established in 1999 with backing from Mr. Siddharth Ray, managing director of Stracon India. Data Access is a Category A ISP license holder and has the approval of the Indian government to construct and operate an international ISP gateway from India.
DigiScents is partnering with leading web sites and interactive media companies to scent-enable the Internet. With DigiScents Digital Scent Technology, consumers will be able to enjoy more lifelike and memorable experiences with scented Web sites, e-mail, movies, music, e-commerce, interactive games, and online advertising.
In October 1999, DigiScents first announced its complete solution for digitizing and broadcasting scents over the Internet.
About Dotcast Inc.
The Dotcast Digital network will enable riche-commerce and communication service providers to -media content, more effectively deliver digital products and services to businesses and consumers. Its state-of-the art technology will allow TV stations and cable operators to deliver high-quality video to PCs, TVs and other Dotcast-enabled devices over their analog and digital channels at speeds of 4.5 to 12 megabits per second. The signal won’t degrade the TV signal or interfere with reception.
About Hicks, Muse,
Tate & Furst
Since its formation in 1989, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Incorporated has completed or currently has pending more than 325 transactions with an aggregate capital value of approximately $43 billion, including invested equity of more than $3 billion in the media and telecommunications sectors. Its principal office is in Dallas with additional offices in New York, London and Buenos Aires.
iMerchants is a privately held company based in Hong Kong. It is a leading Internet electronic commerce service provider. IMerchants’ turn-key approach to e-commerce enables companies to adopt e-commerce faster and less expensively than an “in-house” implementation.
About Intelligenesis Corporation
Intelligenesis Corporation is developing an artificial intelligence software architecture that understands the meaning of concepts expressed in text, speech, and numerical data patterns. By transforming documents and databases into a dynamic mind-like network of associations, WebMind can distinguish meaning in unstructured text, where the bulk of human knowledge is stored. In this way, human experience and psychology can be quantified for use in business analytics and decision-making.
The company intends to use the WebMind engine to develop a portfolio of advanced web-based financial and information products and services. Two of these products are in an advanced stage of development, and are expected for release this year. Intelligenesis currently has approximately 90 employees located primarily in New York City and Brazil.
About Magically, Inc.
Magically, Inc. is the developer of the Internet-based “virtual desktop” MagicalDesk, a suite of Web-based applications which includes email, address book, calendar, task list, Internet bookmarks, file storage, document viewing, and file synchronization. Magically makes its virtual desktop available to Internet portals, content providers, application service providers, Internet service providers, and original equipment manufacturers.
Outblaze aids in the development and provision of multilingual integrated Internet community solutions for web sites that wish to offer their own private label portal services, including customisable web based free e-mail, mailing list, message board, calendar and chat services.
About Palm, Inc.
Palm, Inc. is the leading provider of handheld computing devices (IDC, May 1999), including the Palm III™, Palm V™ and Palm VII™ series of handheld computers.
Established in October 1999, pp.com is Hong Kong’s first vertical portal specially designed for the Asian property industry, delivering a unique one-stop property solution. Headquartered in Hong Kong, pp.com has already established operations in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, and has plans to open offices in Singapore, Japan and Taiwan in the coming months.
Founded in 1996, Rediff is the largest web-based online service in India. Its service delivers news, information, free email, chat, personal home pages and online shopping for books, music and hotel reservations to an audience in India and Indians worldwide.
PCCW and SoftNet
The launch of Pacific Century SoftNet is part of a broader relationship between SoftNet and PCCW. In January, the companies announced the completion of a transaction in which PCCW paid $129 million for 5 million shares (approximately 23%) of SoftNet common stock.
SOHU.com is China’s first and largest Web portal with daily page views of over six million and registered email users of over 850,000. SOHU.com offers a proprietary directory that has helped shape the searching habit of Mainland Chinese.
About Taste For Living
Taste For Living is an online health and wellness company, which originates from the highly acclaimed Taste For Living Cookbook by Michael Milken.
3Fusion developers have very innovative, scalable and fault tolerant technology. 3Fusion has received 1st round funding of US $8 million and is on track to roll out its services in US and Asia for partners’ beta trial during Q1, 2000.
Launched in December last year, vertical portal tom.com is listed at Hong Kong’s Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) on March 1, 2000. It aims to be a content aggregator of China by developing information and entertainment-related businesses serving global Chinese and mainland web users.
Founded in 1992, TurboLinux is the world’s fastest-growing Linux company with investment backing from more than 20 global hardware, software and services companies, including BEA, Compaq, Dell, Intel, Fujitsu Support and Services, NEC, Novell, SCO and Toshiba.
About Weave Innovations
Started in 1998, Weave Innovations builds products and services that leverage the Internet to enhance the way people communicate with each other.