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Monday, January 8, 2001

Honolulu Web firm
wins $2 million
Chinese pact

By Tim Ruel

A Honolulu-based Web design firm has won a $2 million, nine-month contract to expand the presence of Hong Kong's Xinhua Financial News with a Web site that will provide real-time news, stock quotes and other market data.

RevaComm, based in the Amfac Center on Bishop Street, said the award is a major first step toward developing its Asian audience.

The company will work on the site here at first, but plans to open an office in Hong Kong later this year. "We're pretty bullish as to where Asia's going to be headed," RevaComm President Len Ambrosio said today.

Kalihi brothers Keith and Elden Ito started RevaComm in 1990 as a print graphics design firm that began expanding into the Internet world in 1994, said Ambrosio, who is also the company's chief information officer. Early clients included the Hawaii International Film Festival, University Health Alliance and the law firm of Torkildson Katz Fonseca Jaffe Moore & Hetherington.

The Internet now takes up 95 percent of the company's design business, Ambrosio said.

For 2000, sales are estimated to have hit $1.2 million, a 243 percent increase from $350,000 in 1998, Ambrosio said. The new contract means the company beat last year's revenues in just one week. RevaComm expects revenues of $4 million by the end of this year, Ambrosio noted.

The Web design company, which previously sought business through referrals, began looking to expand to Asia a year ago, and started making business trips to Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan.

"If you look at the Asian crisis, it was coming to the tail end in 1999," Ambrosio said. He noted the company is in talks for another contract, in Japan, but declined to offer details.

RevaComm has also recently opened three-person offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, to show Asian companies it has a regional presence, Ambrosio said.

Jeff Stockton, spokesman for a Manoa software development company, said RevaComm appears to be successfully beginning to move into Asia.

"A $2 million contract is outstanding," said Stockton, whose firm Inovaware Corp. also began expanding into Asia recently, with contracts secured in Japan and South Korea.

"The Internet market in Asia is booming right now," Stockton said. "Up until a couple years ago, it was pretty far behind America."

RevaComm plans to increase to 30 employees worldwide by the end of the year, up from the current 23.

At the beginning of the year, the firm moved up to the 17th floor of Amfac Center into a 4,500-square-foot space, more than four times the size of its previous office on the fourth floor of the same building.

The company has recently designed projets for the Hawaiian Humane Society, at, and for RevaComm's hardware partner, NetEnterprise Inc., at

The site for Xinhua Financial News in Hong Kong will deliver the full spectrum of real-time financial news and market data. RevaComm said it will create a search engine that will receive financial information fed from the news company as well as Chinese government agencies and Xinhua's massive parent, the Xinhua News Agency.

Bullet RevaComm's site is at

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