| July 23
July 23 Redpoint e.ventures, the Brazilian
venture-capital firm created by Redpoint Ventures and
e.ventures, said it had raised $130 million for its inaugural
The sum, significant for venture capital in Brazil,
underscores the region's increasingly high profile among
investors. They see opportunity in a country with a large
population, a fast-growing middle class, big growth potential
and political stability.
The fund will invest in the mobile, media and cloud-services
sectors, and will focus heavily on the Internet, in part because
Brazil's Internet offerings are relatively small given the size
and engagement of Internet users in Brazil, said e.ventures
co-founder Mathias Schilling.
Until recently, the country has lacked the capital to build
out large numbers of start-ups that harness the Internet, he
explained. "It's a tremendous market opportunity," Schilling
The fund has already made a handful of investments in
Brazil, including online travel agency ViajaNet;
consumer-Internet platform Grupo Xango, social-media marketing
company 55Social; trunk jewelry-show seller Sophie and Juliete;
and online retailer Shoes4you.
Many of the businesses imitate similar concepts in the
United States, which Brazilians have given the euphemism
"The copycat model gets a bad rap," said Redpoint Founding
Partner Jeff Brody. "Many of the most successful businesses in
technology imitated another." He cites Facebook, which
built a better social network than earlier efforts including
Friendster and MySpace.
The fund's limited-partner investors are almost entirely
existing investors in Redpoint and e.ventures, formerly known as
BV Capital. Run by Brazilian-based founding partners Yann de
Vries and Anderson Thees, the fund will make around 15-20
investments over its lifespan, Brody said.
U.S. venture firms investing in Brazil include Accel
Partners, whose partner Kevin Efrusy spearheaded investments in
several Brazilian companies over the last year or so.
Benchmark Capital has invested in Peixe Urbano, a
Groupon-style deals site. Insight Venture Partners has invested
in several Brazilian companies, including discount-travel site
Hotel Urbano and, alongside Accel, in handcrafted-goods
While the Brazilian regulatory environment can prove tough
for start-ups, those that manage to cut through the bureaucracy
sometimes find their home base a big advantage in recruiting.
Grupo Xango, for example, was able to hire a small group of
engineers from Siberia. The team had few misgivings about
ditching its snowy homeland for Rio de Janeiro, Brody said.