Exclusive: Frontier Digital Ventures invests in Panama’s Encuentra24.com

FDV's first investment in Central America, is in Encuentra24.com.

Malaysia-based Frontier Digital Ventures (FDV) has made its maiden investment in Central America, committing an undisclosed amount in Encuentra24.com.

Panama-based Encuentra24.com is a leading online classifieds marketplace in Central America, offering listings of cars, real estate, jobs, electronic and other classified listings like education, pets and animals, business and music and art.

This is the latest in FDV’s portfolio, which also includes earlier investments like PakWheels.com from Pakistan, and MyanmarCarsDB.com and iMyanmarHouse.com from Myanmar.

FDV’s investment strategy focuses on market leading classifieds business in frontier markets globally. It invested $3.5 million into PakWheels.com but had kept mum on its investment numbers for the Myanmar companies.

While PakWheels.comm MyanmarCarsDB.com and iMyanmarHouse.com target the property and automobile verticals, Encuentra24.com is a general classifieds business.

FDV CEO and founder Shaun Di Gregorio said that the decision to work with Encuentra24.com was based on several factors, including its locale in a premium frontier market.

“Central America is a premium frontier market, and a strong entry point to the region sandwiched between monolithic markets of North and South America,” he told DEALSTREETASIA.

Encuentra24.com’s founders, husband and wife entrepreneurs, Boris Metraux and Wendy Jordan, were also a key reason FDV saw potential in the company.

“The firm sees enormous potential on how FDV can help them extend their dominance in countries where they currently operate & other potential markets to complete the picture,” he said.

The company has offices in Panama and Costa Rica, and an outpost in Switzerland that handles website development and strategic promotional planning.

Its Latin-American offices house its contact center solutions including customer support, quality control, ad administration management.

In 2014, Encuentra24.com saw a consistent surge in online traffic to its site, solidifying its leadership position as the one-stop shop for both casual and professional buyers and sellers.

The site drew nearly 50 million visitors, with 827 million page viewings.

In October 2014, Encuentra24.com hit 840,000 registered users and that the company’s efforts in lead-generation and relationship building resulted in a recorded 1.5 million leads for the 12-month period.

As previously reported, FDV is targeting a portfolio of up to 30 investments in “disruptive digital businesses”, and has a mandate of possible investments for over 50 potential markets in Central and South America, Middle East and North America, Southern Africa, South Asia and select countries within the Commonwealth of Independent States.

FDV is an investment company under the Catcha Group, targeting frontier market investments.

Also read:

Frontier Digital Ventures enters Myanmar with two deals

Frontier Digital Ventures invests $3.5m in PakWheels.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.