PCCW acts on
strategy to expand Asian Internet economy and company network
Hong Kong, 2 April 2000 –
CyberWorks Ventures, the venture capital arm of Pacific Century
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
- 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;
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
- 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
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 About CMGI
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.