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S$20.7 million first-round financing for Singapore auction startup

Similan.com secures one of the largest first-round financing in Asia to dateSingapore, 27 January 2000 - Singapore-based auction & classifieds Web site, SurfingBananas.

Similan.com secures one of the largest first-round financing in Asia to date

Singapore, 27 January 2000 - Singapore-based auction & classifieds Web site, SurfingBananas.com, has received a phenomenal S$20.7 million injection in its first round of funding.

Developed and marketed by Similan.com, the Internet startup has secured funding from four investors, bringing together strategic alliances as well as venture capital expertise. These investors are:

Lycos Asia. SurfingBananas.com is Lycos Asia’s exclusive online auction partner. Together they will roll out localized portal sites to more than 10 countries this year.

Ricardo.de. The largest online auction company in Europe, its alliance with Similan.com will provide both companies with a cross-continental link as well as a technology and business knowledge transfer. Commenting on the alliance, CEO of Ricardo.de, Christoph Linkwitz said, "Our investment in Similan.com enables us to participate in the rapid growth in Asia. Ricardo.de is the European market leader and we want to be a recognized world-wide brand."

AsiaCommerce.com. An investor/operator which is creating a network of Asian e-commerce marketplaces, AsiaCommerce was established by the founders of AsiaContent.com. To date, it has partnered six companies to facilitate their implementation of a pan-Asian e-commerce strategy.

OCBC, Wearnes & Walden (OWW). With some US$110 million under management, OWW has investments in private companies within South East Asia, Greater China and the United States. J S Chong, Vice President of OWW, said that the ability to foster strategic alliances and leverage different markets is one of the key factors in OWW's investment considerations.

SurfingBananas.com hopes that the funding, received just four months after a successful launch in Singapore, would effectively secure its regional leadership position in the online dynamic pricing market, which will in turn accelerate the company’s growth.

Commented John Saliling, co–Founder and CEO of Similan.com: "This investment means we are able to consolidate our regional presence in 2000, deliver top quality customer service to our members and stay those few crucial steps ahead of the crowd. We are proud and very lucky to have entered into partnership with Lycos Asia, Ricardo.de, AsiaCommerce.com and OCBC, Wearnes and Walden and I look forward to sharing our success with them."

The funding will be used primarily for regional expansion, dynamic marketing, site innovation and technological advancement.