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OPIC Board Approves $75 Million for Technology Fund

June 25, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) approved up to $75 million in financing to support the establishment of a private equity investment fund designed to invest in companies that could utilize technological innovation to achieve high growth, in response to an announcement by President Obama last year.

At a speech in Cairo in June 2009, President Obama announced that the United States would launch an investment fund to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries. OPIC responded last October by issuing a call for proposals to manage a Global Technology and Innovation Fund, intended to catalyze private sector investments that promote technological growth in OPIC-eligible countries Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The fund approved today was among 87 responses to the call.

The ePlanet Ventures III fund will invest in companies for which the application of technological innovation has the potential to generate high growth, in a variety of sectors which include information technology, software and software applications, life sciences and health care, nano and bio-technologies, semiconductors, media, telecommunications, wireless, Internet content and services, clean energy and technologies, education, consumer services, logistics, and financial services. The fund will invest globally, but with a specific emphasis on OPIC-eligible countries in the Middle East, Africa, and South, Central and Southeast Asia.  The fund has a target capitalization of $300 million.

OPIC selected as fund manager ePlanet Ventures, a Silicon Valley, California-based venture capital group with offices in London, Bangalore, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, and Hong Kong. ePlanet helped to pioneer the development of a global venture capital business model in 1999, and was among the first venture firms to actively identify innovation and emerging technologies in markets outside of the United States. ePlanet has invested in over 90 innovation driven companies globally, a number of whom became market leaders, and generated an aggregate market capitalization in excess of $30 billion. Due to its investment performance, ePlanet is widely recognized amongst the leading global venture capital firms.