bmp AG and IBM link up

IBM will provide technical support, geared specially to start-ups, for bmp AG and its associated companies.

The Berlin-based venture capital company bmp AG and IBM Deutschland GmbH have agreed to cooperate in the technology sector.

Under the terms of the agreement, the IBM NetGen division will provide technical support, geared especially to start-ups, for bmp AG and its associated companies and grant them special terms for IBM soft and hardware. The agreement has been made for an initial period of two years.

Ralph Günther, a member of bmp's board of management, said: “As the world's leading supplier of internet and software solutions, IBM is thoroughly familiar with the requirements of start-ups, so that it will be able to provide assistance for our associated companies, for instance in the establishment and maintenance of IT infrastructure and the development of software applications.”

Wolfgang Glüder, director of IBM NetGen, central region, said: “IBM's strength lies in its ability to offer internet start-ups a full range of expertise from a one-stop shop”.

One of bmp’s portfolio companies, YOC!AG, looks set to benefit from the deal. Earlier this week, the venture capital group acquired a 20 per cent stake in Berlin-based YOC! AG. The company is developing an interactive SMS-based platform for the youth market and will release it in the first quarter of this year.

YOC is targeting 13-26 year old mobile phone users. Dr. Oliver Scholz, Bmp AG's senior investment manager, said: “The business model aspires to a strategic technical fusion between the mobile phone and the internet, whereby the service principle is independent of the Internet. The degree of interaction achieved, in association with the advantages of the mobile telephone, opens up attractive business potential.”