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Antfactory moves away from internet investments

Yesterday, the company published its first annual report and announced that it would focus on investments in core technology companies.

Internet incubator Antfactory has cut its staff by about 30 per cent since September because of volatility in the technology sector, The Financial Times reports.

The newspaper quotes Harpal Randhawa, chairman and chief executive of Antfactory saying:” Volatility has been massive. We have broadly sat on our hands for the last three quarters having learnt lessons from doing some of the early fashion investing.” The number of staff the company employs has fallen to 110.

Mr Randhawa's made his comments at the release of Antfactory's first annual report, which underlined a shift in the company's strategy away from the internet.

Antfactory was set up in 1999 to incubate early stage internet companies. It is now focused on investing in core technology companies and on forging partnerships with big companies to develop jointly ideas. The annual report shows Antfactory had operating expenses of about $12m (E12.8m) in the 15 months to December 31, which it hopes to reduce by 25 per cent this year. It has made 22 investments and has $140m on its balance sheet and access to a further $350m.

Investors in Antfactory include Whitney & Co, Allianz Capital Partners, Citicorp Venture Capital and CVC Capital Partners.