Naspers eyes Brazilian e-commerce

30 September 2009

South African media giant Naspers has spent US$342-million (about R2.53-billion) on the acquisition of a 91% stake in BuscaPe, a Brazilian-based provider of e-commerce services in Latin America.

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, the group provides services consumers to make informed purchase decisions and transact on the internet. Its core business generates lead-referral revenues from merchants and other listing providers.

“BuscaPe gives us a fast-growing business in line with our e-commerce focus,” Naspers’ internet head Antonie Roux said in a statement this week.

“It’s a diversified internet platform: a whole spectrum of business models within the e-commerce value chain across core Latin American markets.”

E-commerce is one of the most promising areas of the internet and Naspers has already built up considerable knowledge in the field through the acquisitions of Ricardo/Tradus in Western Europe and Allegro in Eastern Europe.

Comparison shopping

BuscaPe.com started some 10 years ago from the basis of comparison shopping. It is the exclusive provider of comparison shopping solutions to more than 100 portals and websites in Latin America, including Microsoft, Globo and Abril, with over 10 million products and over 320 000 online and offline stores.

In recent years, BuscaPe acquired a competitor, Bondfaro, and has also expanded with QueBarato, the leading free-classifieds network in Latin America.

In addition, it has an affiliate advertising network named Lomadee, an e-commerce research business, eBit, and a fraud risk assessment service, FControl.

“Given Naspers’s extensive experience in the internet, they can help us grow to the next level,” said BuscaPe CEO Romero Rodrigues.

Latin American expansion

Latin America is of particular interest to Naspers, as region is home to some 550-million people. Favourable demographics, rising disposable incomes, underleveraged consumers and a less-penetrated internet market provides a good investment backdrop.

“After investments in Abril and Compera nTime, Naspers has developed a good understanding of the fast-growing Brazilian market,” said Naspers Latin America CEO Hein Brand. “BuscaPe is one of the few established players in the industry, and can grow further.”

SAinfo reporter

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