Deals round-up: VENTURE CAPITAL – Investcorp leads $60 million round for Aspective

UK application service provider (ASP) Aspective, launched last December, in May won $60 million (EURO66 million) in second-round funding in a deal led by Investcorp. The bulk ($57 million) of the new funding came from Investcorp, alongside $3.2 million from Kennet Capital, leader of Aspective’s first venture round (EVCJ February 2000, Deal, of the Month, page 30).

Aspective, the first ASP to deliver integrated front-office, e-commerce and WAP mobile Internet services, offers mobile and desktop users access to managed e-commerce and front-office services for a fixed monthly fee. Demand for hosted solutions is growing rapidly and industry observers predict that spending on ASP services will increase by more than 90 per cent annually over the next four years to reach around GBP5 billion in Europe alone by 2004.

Aspective, which has established partnerships with Siebel, BroadVision and Exodus, intends to hire 400 people to staff new offices providing consultancy, implementation and support services throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The initial target markets are France, Germany and Sweden where, by working closely with its partners, Aspective will have the capacity to offer local ASP services as well as providing an integrated solution for its pan-European users.

Savio Tung, who is leading Investcorp’s technology initiative, says: “Aspective, the first wireless ASP that allows customers to access information from Internet-enabled mobile phones as well as from normal desktop PCs, is uniquely placed to take advantage of the growing ASP market.”

Around the time of its investment in Aspective, Investcorp announced its partnership with (212) Ventures, Inc for investment in the Internet infrastructure, services and wireless Internet sectors.