RealTime IT News

Another Czech Internet Startup Received International Investment

[Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC] The international Internet company Samba Digital Media based in Prague, Czech Republic, has received US $2.4 million of investment capital from a group of investors including Baring Communication Equity and Siemens AG. It is the tenth major investment into Czech Internet during this year.

Samba Digital Media provides complex e-solutions to international customers. The company has quite an impressive list of references including Deloitte&Touche Central Europe, German Embassy in Prague, Oxford University Press and New York University. Samba has been established in February 1999. Its founder, Adam R. Healey, recognized the growing need for professional e-services in Central Europe and therefore he left the Salomon Smith Barney trading floor on Wall Street. Now he serves as CEO of Samba Digital Media.

The investment of US $2.4 million, advised by CMS Cameron McKenna, has been completed in the last days of June 2000. There are four investors, including Baring Communications Equity investment fund, Austrian investment firm red-stars.com Data AG, Austrian subsidiary of German Siemens AG and a leading Czech Internet entrepreneur, Mr. Roman Stanek.

Taking his part in the investment, Mr. Stanek became the first Czech individual who reinvested his fortune made on Internet into the same industry again. Mr. Stanek sold his company NetBeans directly to Sun Microsystems in September 1999 and now serves as member of the management structure of Sun. "My investment into Samba was due to my firm belief that Central Europe was in need of a full e-services company. Samba convinced me that they were the ideal company to fill this gap in the market. I believe that Samba can help major companies in Central Europe integrate the Internet into their business processes," said Mr. Stanek.

The investment into Samba Digital Media is the tenth major one into Czech Internet during last six months. In January, Swedish Spray Ventures bought into the largest local portal Seznam.cz and Czech-Danish joint venture Contactel acquired local ISP Cesnet. In February, incumbent telco Cesky Telecom acquired Internet company M.I.A. in order to establish major portal site. In March, local investment fund EPIC invested heavily into the second local portal Atlas.cz. In April, Telekom Austria acquired the largest Czech ISP and Bancroft international fund placed substantial amount of money into local Internet and trade press company Computer Press. Another ISP has been acquired in May: PVT.net by Norwegian Nextra/Telenor. Also in May, portal site Centrum.cz received investment from Barings and Intel capital. In June, Advent International funded Internet content company Globopolis.com. Total amount of money poured into Czech Internet industry during the first half of 2000 is estimated of about US $130 million.