Rising From the Ashes

Dec 8, 2003

Money is moving into Latin American technology ventures in Brazil. But entrepreneurs and their backers still face considerable odds.

Unbelievable as it may seem, more than a few investors are willing to bet cold, hard cash on Latin American software companies. Many entrepreneurs and their backers were mangled when the Internet boom ended three years ago, so money no longer flows like water. “Nowadays, it’s back to basics,” says Jonathan Whittle, principal at Darby Technology Ventures Group (DTV), part of private firm Darby Overseas International. “We require companies that have real products, that have real clients and have real revenues.”

Deals Every Month Specialized technology funds such as Darby, Intel Capital, Brazil’s GP Tecnologia and MiFactory - a venture capital fund backed by Ericsson, Saab and Grupo Said of Chile - are announcing investments almost every month, even if the amounts involved are relatively small. Latin America simply cannot compare with the inventions, hardware and software cascading out of Asia. India alone gets hard currency revenues of close to $10 billion a year...

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