AsiaTech to Oversee $48M Java VC Fund –

SAN BRUNO, Calif. – AsiaTech Ventures will manage a $48 million venture fund that will back Asian companies using Sun Microsystems Inc.’s Java programming language.

Not surprisingly, Sun is a key investor in the Asia Java Venture Fund, along with the government of Singapore and Asian companies such as Fujitsu and Mitsui & Co.

AsiaTech, a two-and-a-half-year-old venture firm focused on bringing American Internet companies to Asia and vice versa, was selected to manage the strategically-oriented vehicle, which wrapped in late October, said AsiaTech Managing Director Peter Chu. Excluding the Java fund, AsiaTech has $65 million under management in three funds, with most of that capital raised in Asia. The firm has offices in Taipei, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Northern California. The fund had not completed any deals at press time, Chu said.

Sun’s Java, a language that lets programmers write one program that can run on different types of computers, could be used, for example, in wireless and Internet technologies, Chu said. He noted that Java-based mobile phones already are available in Japan.

The fund will invest mostly in Asia, but also in U.S. enterprises that would be of interest to Asian electronics companies, Chu added. Initial investments will run about $500,000 to $2 million each, he said, and he expects the vehicle to be invested over two to three years.