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March 27, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:34pm

MAJOR VENTURE CAPITAL THRUST UNDER WAY AT STET

By CBR Staff Writer

Stet SpA, the owner of Italy’s biggest telephone company says it has invested $35m in Silicon Valley companies in the past year, and is looking to invest more. It is particularly interested in Internet content creation and entertainment because it wants to increase the number of hours Italians spend on line. Our main goal is to increase traffic through our network, said Martino Ajmone Marsan, president of Steam USA, the San Francisco-based venture capital arm of STET. We are in active negotiation with lots of companies. The company has invested heavily in modernizing its network and bemoans the fact that it is not used more – it has lots of bandwidth, no content. Companies identified as recipients of Stet largesse include Concentric Network Corp, San Jose Internet access provider geared toward businesses; and Protozoa Inc, a San Francisco three-dimensional animation studio and software company. As well as software and networking, Stet is looking to invest in companies developing devices other than personal computers to connect to the Internet, because computers are still relatively rare in Italian households. According to Reuter, Stet has not set a specific budget for its venture capital operation, but could spend significantly more if it finds the right opportunities, said Umberto de Julio, the firm’s managing director.

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