Strategic Intelligence will stay private

Integrated research, web and event company Strategic Intelligence calls off plans for its IPO, but maintains start-ups can live without going public.

A small integrated research, internet and conference company based in Singapore called Strategic Intelligence (SI) has announced that it will not pursue the IPO it was originally planning to do in the second half of 2000. Anthony Venus, CEO of the company explained that not only are the public markets not good at the moment, but also that management time is better devoted to earning revenues than battling ahead with a listing. He also believes that the private equity market is still better for start-ups than the public markets and to illustrate his point he disclosed that Jupiter Communications, the US internet research house has purchased a 17% stake in the company.

Strategic Intelligence is now valued at S$43 million ($24 million) based on targeted earnings of S$10 million for calendar year 2000.

The company offers customised research to corporate clients, it offers a subscription-based web service of business and political analysis and it runs conferences and briefings. The company's unique proposition is its particularly impressive list of directors and contacts which are grouped together under the term Club of Asia. This Club is made up of leading academics and thinkers in Asiaá who offer strategic analysis and advice to SI's clients. This advice comes from either articles written on the web site, speeches given at the conferences or phone calls made to individual clients.

SI claims that because its research is independent it is more attractive to clients than investment bank research which is often believed to be tainted by deal concerns. Moreover the themes that the company addresses are quite wide ranging and esoteric - for instance, advice for what to do in the event that the nation state system of international politics breaks down.

It remains to be seen whether the subscription-based web service will be sucessful. The company claims to have sold individual web subscriptions for $500 a piece as well asáone corporate subscription for $8500. It is planning a full launch of its service in two weeks.