Computer giant IBM has signed a strategic partnership agreement to invest in early-stage Asian technology companies through venture capitalist Crimson Ventures. The two also have an alliance to enable IBM to target the companies for adoption of their technology. 'IBM is really seeking to get to early-stage companies - like many of the portfolio companies of Crimson - a lot earlier in their life cycle,' IBM Asia Pacific director Timothy Wong said. 'Sometimes we missed some of those early-stage opportunities and as a result these businesses have grown up on other-than-IBM technology platforms.' Targeting new Asian companies with their technology is more important to IBM than the actual returns gained on the investments, according to Mr Wong: 'From our perspective there's a lot more value in the underlying business relationship than any return on the investment we might see in the Crimson Ventures fund itself.' Crimson Ventures - which invests in e-business infrastructure, software and communications companies in Asia - believes the partnership with IBM will help the development of its portfolio. 'We believe it will certainly help to turbo-charge our portfolio companies,' said Alfredo Ayala, a partner at the company's Hong Kong office, Crimson Asia Capital. 'Our close relationship is going to give them access to leading-edge technology.' The amount IBM will invest through Crimson Ventures was not disclosed. Crimson Ventures is based in Silicon Valley and now has between US$450 million and US$500 million under management.