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AsiaTech, IT Giants Reveal $48 Million Asia Java Fund

AsiaTech Ventures and several global tech giants yesterday launched the $48 million Asia Java Fund, the first venture capital fund dedicated to supporting Internet entrepreneurs using Java in Asia.

Backed by some of the world's leading technology corporations including Sun Microsystems, Japan's Fujitsu, NTT DoCoMo, Hong Kong's Pacific Century Cyberworks and Cable & Wireless HKT, the new fund aims to accelerate the use of Java, a key programming environment for the Web.

"The fund is unique not only because it brings together such a diverse range of investors but because for many of them, it is the first time they have participated in a third party fund outside of their own private investments," said James Yao, co-founder and executive director of AsiaTech Ventures in USA.

Other key investors in the Asia Java Fund include Mitsui & Co, Nomura/Jafco, Sun Hung Kai Properties, Singapore Telecom, the National Computer Board of Singapore and the Technopreneurship Investment Fund of Singapore.

"Java will be the technology underpinning a new economic revolution in Asia as companies develop and utilise local developer talent to bring in new methods of working," said Hanson Cheah, co-founder and executive director of AsiaTech Ventures Asia.

According to Cheah there are currently over one million Java programmers worldwide, a figure expected to triple by 2002. "In China alone there are more than 100,000 Java users with every major University using the language to train its computing students," he said.

Among the first companies to receive funding from the Asia Java Fund will be BizTone, a Malaysian firm specialising in providing Internet-based Applications Services targeting the SME market.

Hong Kong based QuotePower, a leading provider of technology for online trading and financial information solutions will also be a recipient of funding.



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