Deutsche Introduces Fund to Invest in U.S. –

NEW YORK – Deutsche Telekom AG, a European provider of communications services, is about to launch the $100 million T-Venture of America fund, which will invest in early-stage communications and information technology companies in the United States.

Although Deutsche Telekom has invested in American companies through its Germany-based vehicle, T-Venture of America will be the company’s first venture vehicle to solely back U.S. companies. The new fund’s primary purpose is to scout technologies that could make Deutsche Telekom operations more efficient, said Todd Fogarty of public relations firm Kekst & Co., who was fielding all Deutsche Telekom’s questions.

Deutsche Telekom invested in a number of early-stage U.S. companies through its $100 million T-Telematik Venture Holding GmbH (T-Venture), which Deutsche Telekom launched in October 1997. The venture fund backed primarily European companies, but the vehicle did make select U.S. investments in companies such as The Fantastic Corp., a Las Vegas-based provider of end-to-end broadband multimedia solutions in April 1998, and in INTERSHOP Communications, an electronic commerce software company based in San Francisco, in February 1998.

Thomas Kyehr who heads T-Venture will also manage T-Venture of America.