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New International Venture Capital Fund

A channel to Asia for Finnish technology companies.

A new Finnish-Thai venture capital fund has been established to finance the growth and internationalization of technology companies. An agreement on setting up the Finn-Thai Technology Fund was signed on Friday during a visit to Finland by the Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra.

One-half of the EUR 20 million capital in the fund will come from TOT Public Company Ltd, a leading Thai telecommunications company in which the Thai government has a majority holding, and the other half from Finns. Finnish Industry Investment Ltd will invest EUR 5 million in the fund. The other Finnish participants are private investors. The new venture capital fund has been arranged in cooperation with the Thai government, the Thai Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and sources close to these bodies. The target size for the fund is EUR 35-40 million.

"The fund will offer Finnish companies access to growing Asian markets," says Juha Marjosola, Managing Director of Finnish Industry Investment Ltd. "It will assist technology companies in establishing a foothold in markets there or, for instance, in setting up a Finnish-Thai joint venture."

"It's splendid that a Finnish venture capital fund will now receive foreign capital."

Market opportunities for Finnish companies can open up when the public sector builds the framework for an information society or, for example, a tsunami warning system. The aim of the Finn-Thai Technology Fund is to support the commercialization of developed products in the Thailand and Southeast Asia region. The fund will focus investments on some ten carefully selected target companies. A private venture capital company, Orienteq Capital Ltd, has been founded to manage the fund.

"The Finn-Thai Technology Fund will concentrate on a business idea never before pursued by a single private equity investor," comments Kalle Pykälä, Senior Partner of Orienteq Capital Ltd.

"The major information society projects in Thailand and its adjacent areas combined with strongly growing demand for technology products and services create an ideal opportunity for the fund's target companies to commercialize their products in one of the fastest growing markets in the world."