Newbridge Invests In Two Companies

As part of its strategy to provide minority expansion capital for companies in the Andean region, Newbridge Andean Partners has signed two Latin American Internet deals valued at an aggregate $3 million.

Newbridge Andean Partners LP is a $160 million fund formed by Washington, D.C.-based Acon Investments LLC. These deals bring the fund’s commitments to $113 million, with $47 million remaining to be invested.

Newbridge invested in auction site start-up company DeRemate.com and in Internet job site < $iLaborum.com.

DeRemate.com (Arremate.com in Brazil) is a consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer online auction house with a staff of 48 people in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela. The company’s stated intention is to dominate the Latin American person-to-person sales and auction market.

DeRemate.com received a $12 million investment in total from Citicorp, eQuest, Merrill Lynch and Liebman Investments, as well as Newbridge. The company is expecting to use the money to expand into other countries and to build its brand name by increasing its marketing. It is one of a handful of Web sites in Latin America to advertise on television.

Although the company launched its first Web site in Argentina only last fall, it believes it had a head start due to its partnership with Aucland, a European online auction house. Under terms of the agreement, DeRemate.com has received Aucland’s current software and technology, as well as a 15-year exclusive license to receive software upgrades. Included among the software’s features is the capacity for reverse auctions, and loading bundled items.

The latter has been instrumental in helping the company target businesses that want to load numerous items simultaneously rather one at a time, according to DeRemate.com,. Currently 60% of the items for auction on its site are from vendors, a fact which the company believes “not only creates a steady flow of items available for auction, but makes receiving payments easier and more reliable.”

Additionally, DeRemate.com acquired eBazar, a Brazilian online auction house, last September.

Newbridge also injected $1.5 million into Laborum.com, an Internet job site that its investors hope will act as the main hub and facilitator of the Latin American job market. Laborum.com has launched in Chile, Columbia, Argentina, Mexico and Peru.

Previously, Newbridge’s last deal in the region was in the retail sector, when through its Newbridge Retail Investors LP subsidiary it acquired a controlling interest in Carulla y Cia SA, Columbia’s second-largest supermarket chain.