IBM Adds Dough to Internet Recipe

IBM Corp. announced today that it has earmarked another US$500 million to invest in Internet business-to-business startups and the venture capital firms that fundthem.

The infusion creates a US$1 billion war chest from which Big Blue plans to fund companies that conduct their business over the Net.

The company says it will use the money to expand its relationships with venture capital firms that invest in Net-based companies. The fund will also invest in startups that have closed their first round of venture capital financing.

IBM had already earmarked $500 million for investment in startups through financing, acquisitions, and giveaways of free hardware and services. Today's new announcement doubles that figure. The company runs a business incubator that provides startups with up to $1 million in technology and services at no cost for six months. The incubator also provides variable leasing, financing and rent-to-own offerings, IBM says.

The additional money that IBM announced today will be used for investments of the same type into startup companies, the company says. Venture capital firms will have access to IBM financing to growtheir technology infrastructure.

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