Lumina Lights Up $25M Deal

J.P. Morgan Partners recently led a $25 million second round of equity funding for e-business solutions provider Lumina Americas Inc. through its $677.3 million J.P. Morgan Latin America Capital Partners fund.

The deal, which brings the company?s total venture capitalization up to $45 million, also involved first-round backers Seven Hills Partners and The Hillman Co.

David Perez, president and co-founder of Lumina Americas, said the new funding will be used to expand his company?s operations through both new acquisitions and new staffing in Latin America. Currently the company employs about 100 people in its São Paulo, Brazil, New York and Silicon Valley offices.

Perez said that about 20% of Fortune 500 companies spend $2 billion a year on traditional advertising to reach the U.S. Hispanic market and that his firm was poised to take advantage of those allocations.

“We are, to my knowledge, the only company offering online marketing campaigns to the Hispanic market, especially the 12- to 25-year-old, who is more savvy, more bilingual ? and online,” he said.

Among the company?s clients are Carrier Corp., Kraft Foods, Transamerica, Cigna, Banco Itau, Rockwell International and Folha de Sao Paulo.

“CEOs are concerned with ever-evolving technology and how to better reach and serve their customers while harnessing the power of technology to increase profitability,” said

Peter Davidson, chief executive and chairman of Lumina Americas, in a prepared statement. Davidson previously founded and developed the Latin Communications Group, owner and operator of the Spanish language newspaper El Diario/La Prensa and 25 Spanish-language radio and television properties.

In Latin America, the company?s strategy is to offer e-business solutions over consumer marketing campaigns. Going forward, the company also will seek to provide e-business solutions in packaged goods, pharmaceuticals and telecom, he said.Hadi Habal, an investment officer and principal of J.P. Morgan Latin American Capital Partners, will join Lumina Americas? board of directors, along with Managing Partner Tim Purcell.

“Lumina represents a very exciting sector despite what?s happening in the U.S. Latin America is a region that traditionally has [suffered from] a lack of transparency and logistics problems,” Habal said. “There are a lot of opportunities to address those inefficiencies.”