RealTime IT News

Latin E-Tailer Sinks $71.3 Million Investment

A Brazil-based books, CDs and toys seller Wednesday landed $71.3 million in its second round of financing, a catch which its investors believe is the largest investment in an overseas e-tailer.

Net investor TH Lee.Putnam Internet Partners (THLi) and European venture capitalist Europ@web led the investment in Submarino.com. Other investors included Capital Riesgo Internet-Banco Santander Central Hispano, Soros Private Equity Partners LP, Chase Capital Partners, and Goldman, Sachs & Co.

The e-tailer offers more than half a million book titles, CDs and toys from its local sites in Spain, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. It will use the investment to enhance services and expand into additional markets, according to Submarino.com's chief executive officer, Antonio Bonchristiano.

"There is enormous demand for a strongly branded, quality-service, online commerce offering that addresses the needs of consumers in Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula and other Spanish-and Portuguese-language regions," said Carlos Monfiglio, vice president of THLi.

"Submarino.com is not only the first online retailer to penetrate this important market -- it has the capital base, management and market penetration to quickly become the dominant player in this segment."

Andre de Baubigny, managing director of Europ@web, said that the involvement represents "an important first step for Europ@web's expansion into a new continent."

THLi's portfolio companies include Wine.com, HomePoint, Krause's Furniture, and FaceTime Communications. Europ@web, the Internet arm of Groupe Arnault which holds a fund reservoir of 500 million euros ($505 million), has an investment stable which includes Webvan, PlanetRX, Ashford.com, E-Loan, and QXL.

Europ@web last month teamed to create a finance portal in a project valued at more than 100 million euros (US$101 million). Ze Project is meant to be the first step in the development of a retail financial portal, an idea which originated at Europ@web. With Dexia's new investment, it will receive a 20 percent stake in Ze Project, while Europ@web will retain 80 percent.