Microsoft, Intel launch site to link Asian IT cos with VCs
Beijing: It's a tie-up of the biggest giants. Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker and Intel Corp., the biggest chipmaker, started a Web site that will allow Asian technology companies to set up connections with venture funds and governments. The site aims to have 70,000 technology-related companies in the Asia-Pacific region in its database, Redmond, Washington- based Microsoft said. The operators of www.softwareAP.net, the site launched by the two companies, also include New York- based Group Intelligence Inc., which helps companies manage databases and create Internet portals, Red Herring Communications Inc.and Asian Venture Capital Journal, said John Hammelstad, director of Microsoft's venture capital and emerging business. He declined to provide investment figures, reported Mint today. Its like we are arranging for a first date between technology entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, he told the paper, on the sidelines of a two-day Microsoft event, Government Leaders Forum Asia, which started today in Beijing. Private equity funds are expanding in Asia, home to the world's two-fastest growing major economies, where growth is outpacing that of the U.S. and Europe. The private equity funds raised $32 billion (Rs1,34,268 crore) last year, a third more than in 2005, mainly for investment in Australia, China, India and South Korea, according to Asian Venture, said the report. Hammelstad added that Group Intelligence, the manager of the site, will help link entrepreneurs to companies that sell Microsofts software, Intels distributors, and more than 3,000 venture capitalists listed in Asian Venture Capital Journal. Governments in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Philippines have signed up to be included on the site, he further told the paper. The service is free for now, and Microsoft may decide later to charge governments that want to be listed, Hammelstad said.