RealTime IT News

Aspective seals $60m funding

UK-based enterprise ASP Aspective has closed $60m funding from blue-chip investment group Investcorp, it will reveal tomorrow.

The investment is one of the largest to date for a pureplay enterprise ASP startup, and catapults the Broadvision and Siebel specialist into the premier league of ASPs worldwide.

"It's going to be a very exciting ride for us," said Aspective's CEO Javaid Aziz as he explained the company's development plans in an exclusive briefing with ASP News Review today. The funding round, which was finalised at the end of last week, will be formally announced tomorrow.

Aspective plans to boost its headcount from 100 currently up to 600 by the end of next year as it builds up a pan-European presence, said Aziz, with spending being funnelled into skills and infrastructure rather than image-building.

"We're in no great rush to do an IPO," said Aziz. "My strategy has been to get real revenues under our belt so we can be really competitive in the market. We're building the company around a culture of customer service and customer satisfaction."

Aspective already has six customers under contract, each generating an average $500k in annual revenues. Aziz revealed that the company's business plan allows for up to $40m spending to be funded out of revenues on top of the $60m received from Investcorp.

Another area for investment will be the creation of a separate wireless division. This will enable the ASP to continue work on wireless-enabling its front-office applications as well as developing new, standalone wireless applications. "We're trying to identify two or three killer application areas that we have," he said.

Aspective launched last December with $5.2m in seed funding (see related ASPnews.com story, Europe gets first WAP ASP, Dec 13th, 1999). Ahead of last week's cash injection, the company's valuation had grown to $150m, Aziz revealed.

Bahrain-based Investcorp, founded 1982, has been a major investor in sectors such as retail, manufacturing, food and beverage, consumer goods and business services, and in 1998 expanded its investment focus to include technology and telecommunications. Current technology and Internet investments include Bigfoot Interactive, Colo.com, Dotcast and Stratus Computer.

Read more about Aspective's business strategy in the May ASP News Review newsletter