Springer Forms German Internet Capital Fund

BERLIN (08/21/2000) - German media conglomerate Axel Springer Verlag AG announced Monday a new venture capital fund to finance Internet startups. The fund, called AS Venture, will debut at the end of this year, said spokeswoman Carola Schmidt.

AS Venture will have capital "in the hundreds of millions of euros" (hundreds of millions of US dollars), said Schmidt. "More details we don't give."

Springer is interested both in expanding online publishing opportunities for its own print brands and in adding new sources of original Internet content, she said.

"For us, this is a new area, a new business field," said Schmidt. "It's a dynamic market, and as we also want to expand in the multimedia area, for us this is a good possibility to meet new people and interesting ideas."

AS Venture's management will be responsible for overseeing Springer's existing Internet properties and joint ventures Sport1 GmbH, Infoseek Deutschland, Booxtra GmbH and PropertyGate.com AG, she added. "These are already examples for the activities which will be in the future realized by AS Venture."

Axel Springer Verlag, in Berlin, can be reached at +49-30-2591-0 or online at http://www.asv.de/.

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