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Growth in APAC web whizzes bucks global trend

Paul Smith (via AFR) | April 18, 2013
Heightened interest from US and Europe-based investors has seen a surge in big money investment in tech companies in the Asia Pacific region.

Locally he said companies innovating in advertising related technology, media and mobile gaming were hot targets for investors. This was true around the world he said. It is only a month since struggling internet giant Yahoo! announced it would buy mobile news reader app Summly from the London teenager who invented it, likely transforming him into one of the world's youngest self-made multimillionaires.

A number of funds are also operating locally, aiming investment at an increasingly vibrant local startup scene.Seek co-founder Paul Bassat recently told The Australian Financial Review early stage tech companies could be risking their future by looking to head to the US too early in their development.

Mr Chong, who also sits on the Sydney Seed Fund said the quarterly statistics were positive for local entrepreneurs, but that the lure of the US was still present for many.

"In the last quarter we have seen a number of Australian companies get funded, and my expectation is that going in to the second quarter, as we head to the end of the financial year, there will be more activity," Mr Chong said.

"It probably does take firms a bit longer to get funding here than if they were elsewhere, but at the same time, those with good founding teams and great technology are getting funding. I know a company recently closed a round of funding in a matter of two weeks, so there is money around in Australia."

Despite the fall in global numbers for the quarter, the positive findings in the Asia Pacific region, showed there was plenty of scope for future growth in technology and internet related businesses locally.

"Anecdotally people are still very confident in tech and want to invest in something they believe will make a significant impact on people's lives," Mr Chong said.

"We are seeing a lot of opportunities to invest, and there is no shortage of people keen to start a tech business, so the lure of tech is very high for investors compared to other industries."


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