Wing Tai Forms US$20Million Tech Fund With Soft Goods Manufacturers

SINGAPORE — Garment manufacturer and property developer Wing Tai Corporation is leading a consortium of soft goods manufacturers and related firms to fund technology companies that focus on the soft goods industry.

The US$20 million fund will initially concentrate on early stage technology companies in the textile and apparel industry, but will expand its coverage to any company that shapes and enhances supply chain management (SCM) processes in the soft goods industry.

The consortium is banking on the low rate of technology adoption in the apparel sector to provide an “enormous opportunity” for technology companies catering to this industry. It believes its stake in MSC, a software solutions provider for Hong Kong’s soft goods industry, and TexWatch, Inc., a textile and apparel portal with 30,000 members, will provide a strong anchor for the Fund’s portfolio companies.

MSC was founded in 1989 as a computer consultancy firm. It developed client/server ERP applications for soft goods traders, manufacturers and accountants, and its application suite is now the technology backbone for about 100 Hong Kong apparel companies.

Established in June 1999 by experienced textile and apparel executives, TexWatch serves a worldwide textile and apparel community of more than 30,000 registered users by providing clients with “one-stop-shop” information and e-business services.

It has financial backing from PCCW, Crystal Knitters, Fang Brothers Knitting, Sterling Products, Sun Hing Knitting Factory, TAL Apparel, Tristate Holdings, Wing Tai Corporation, Yangtzekiang Garment Manufacturing, Cayuga Venture Capital, and private family wealth linked to the management of Taiwan’s Far Eastern Group and JG Summit Holdings of the Philippines.

“Both TexWatch and MSC have been the leaders in textile and apparel content, and enterprise resource planning solution, respectively. Their penetration in the Asian textile and apparel community is unrivalled. We see tremendous opportunities as Asia’s textile and apparel industry continue to grow against the backdrop of WTO participation and the elimination of the quota system,” said Steven R. Walton, convener of the consortium and executive director of Wing Tai Corporation.

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