Merrill Lynch, Unibanco and Brasil Warrant announce their investment in BuscaPé.
Merrill Lynch Global Emerging Markets Partners (MLGEMP), Unibanco (Brazil's third-largest private bank) and Brasil Warrant, the Moreira Salles family holding, aquired 30% of the BuscaPé.com, owner of the sites BuscaPé (http://www.buscape.com.br) and Desconfiômetro (http://desconfiometro.com.br).
BuscaPé is the leading price search and comparison mechanism in Brazil, with over 400 on-line stores registered and 650.000 products in its database. Besides it's strong presence in the web, BuscaPé also offers its services through mobile phones with WAP technology. Desconfiômetro is the BuscaPé's family site specialized in evaluating on-line shops.
"To receive the support of investors such as Unibanco, Merrill Lynch and Brasil Warrant is an important step for the company since it provides us with an extra push to grow and consolidate our market position. With this investment we'll be able to strengthen our position in the Brazilian market and advance into new markets", says Romero Rodrigues, BuscaPé's president.
According to Guido Padovani, Managing Director for direct investments in Latin America for Merrill Lynch (MLGEMP), "the project is really innovative and attracted us due to it's in-house developed technology and the value-added service it provides customers.
BuscaPé had received its first investment from Brazilian Venture Capital firm e-Platform Venture Partners in January.
BuscaPé has ambitious international expansion plans and a great part of the investment that has just been made shall be destined to start operations in new countries. According to Rodrigues, few markets count with a solution as efficient as BuscaPé, and that this fact justifies their ventures in other countries. Besides international growth, BuscaPé also intends to launch a domestic media campaign to attract new customers in the near future. The marketing campaign shall, in Rodrigues' own words, "emphasize our product's unique features, which are its ease of use and the fact that it's also available through WAP technology".
Names mentioned in this article:
Merrill Lynch Global Emerging Markets Partners (MLGEMP) is a private equity and venture capital fund based in New York. It is dedicated to investments in emerging markets and has presence in Latin America, Asia and Europe.
Unibanco is one of the largest private banks in Latin America. It has a strong presence in the corporate and retail markets and has positioned itself as a leader in the implementation of new technologies.
Brasil Warrant is the Moreira Salles family holding for the group's investments outside the financial sector.