RealTime IT News

Hong Kong Government Funds Two Internet Startups

Two new Internet companies, Quote Power Information Ltd. and Property Market Intelligence Limited (PMI), have received venture capital from the Hong Government's high-tech Applied Research Fund.

The companies were selected by AsiaTech Ventures, a private venture capital firm that specializes in the Internet industry and jointly manages the Government's US$100 million fund.

"These two firms represent two very shining examples of the utilization of new technology to match Hong Kong strengths in the financial as well as the property markets," said Hanson Cheah, executive director of AsiaTech Ventures. "They are also representative of why this Applied Research Fund was setup."

Run by local entrepreneurs, QuotePower is a developer and supplier of online trading and information systems and has received approximately US$1 million from the hi-tech fund.

Through subscriptions, users may utilize the company's QuotePower-Web product which provides real-time quotes, a historical database and company profiles over the Internet, dial-up phone lines or local area networks.

"We have a variety of products to satisfy different sectors of the market," said Ted Sze, managing director of QuotePower, "These products provide more than just a fancy e-mail system but a trading platform including security measures, risk management for brokers, and account management."

PMI provides online real estate information for institutional investors and was supplied with a US$840,000 investment.

The expatriate managed company has two online information services that provide news and analysis on the Asian real estate and construction industry, the Asian Property Journal and ContraxAsia (CXA).

"Utilizing the Internet and Java applications developed in-house, we will enable international investors throughout the world to access news, research, and analysis of property market trends across 11 Asian countries," said Mathew Richardson, PMI's managing director. "We believe that PMI will change the real estate industry by providing improved flow of information both for the investors and the end user."

In addition to government funds, AsiaTech also has equity invested in these two companies but Cheah declined to comment on the amount.

Some industry observers believe that these companies are little more than content providers and should not receive investment from the governments hi-tech research fund.

However, Sze and Richardson with the support of Cheah contend that their companies offer state-of-the-art development solutions for their customers' online information systems needs.