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Mobile phone firm Telstra supports external funds to invest in Asia

February 29
7:31 AM 2016

Telstra, an Australian-based mobile phone company, is supporting venture capital funds to find investments in Asia. The mobile device maker has spent nearly $10 million along with Yahoo Japan, Temasek and Cisco.

The focus of Telstra is now concentrated on technology investment in Asia as it experiences a drop in the viability of internet services and phone calls. However, certain shareholders of the company feel that the new investment would pose a threat to its financial stability with Telstra receiving a little return from the fresh bets.

According to Matthew Koertge, managing director of Telstra, regional whizzes like Monk's Hill Ventures will aid the company to locate new investment deals in Asia. Telstra, which usually invest directly in firms, has chosen to spend in a venture fund for the first time as an effort to stimulate its business portfolio. There is wide range of chances in South East Asian countries and that these experts will help the company to recognize a suitable area for their products in Asian markets, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.

The Monk's Hill Ventures, with $80 million funds to help tech start-ups, has a good network structure and expertise in South East Asian markets. In addition, the company has invested in several external funds to locate fresh investment strategy in Asia. However, Telstra has teams in Australia and the US to aid in its investment policies. According to the company, the external whizzes will control all the investment activities in foreign lands with their powerful network and local skill. The external specialists make it simpler for Telstra to invest in the overseas market.

Telstra said that it normally spend between $5 million and $50 million in established organisations. The company's future investment strategy include companies based in Asia Pacific, Australia and Silicon Valley. The company is interested in areas like cloud automation, video content, healthcare ICT and media-related firms.

Kuo-Yi Lim, managing director of Monk's Hill Ventures, said that his firm will support Telstra to find suitable markets in South East Asia. He also promised to locate nearly 800 - 1000 start-up firms for Telstra over a period of one year. He added that firms involved in financial services and logistics could perform well in the international markets rather than consumer-oriented firms.

Reuters quoted a report by Tauri Group, which says that space start-ups have attracted nearly $1.8 billion of venture capital funds in 2015. SpaceX, controlled by Elon Musk, received the lion's share of $1 billion in the 2015 space investments round.

Telstra's external investment approach has gained many merits among the investor community. The company tries to expand its business portfolio in foreign lands with the help of external fund groups. These experts make things easier for the company rather than flying in and out of the country to seek foreign markets.

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