Asian Doldrums

Asia Online shutters North American Operations

HONG KONG -- December 20, 2000 -- VENTUREWIRE -- Asia-based start-ups are suffering the same fate as the West.  Internet business services provider, Asia Online shuttered its U.S. and Canadian offices this week. The company's Web site no longer lists its North American offices and only notes facilities in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Last month, the company laid off 56 members of its workforce in Hong Kong and said it was considering future streamlining measures. In September, Asia Online withdrew its IPO.

The company named Edward Roberto CEO a little more than a month ago.  Ironically, he was instrumental in expanding into North America, New Zealand/Australia, Greater China, the Indian sub-continent and Southeast Asia as the executive vice president of business development.

The company raised a $100 million round earlier this year from investors including Paribas Affaires Industrielles, ABN AMRO Capital Investment Asia, Concentric Network, Dell Computer, CIBC, GE Equity Asia-Pacific, Hikari Tsuhin, Interliant, MF Private Capital, PaineWebber, Pequot Capital Management, J.P. Morgan International Capital, Nexus Group, Softbank Venture Capital, and Systex Capital Group.