ZonaFinanciera.com Back in VC Market

Fresh off of last month’s $30 million Series C financing (PEW, April 24, p. 3), Miami-based ZonaFinanciera.com has jumped back into the private equity market and is accepting bids on its fourth round of institutional funding.

The financial services Web portal for the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking community is marketing the new offering as a strategic play in which only value-added buyers, such as investment banks, need apply. It will most likely garner less than the recent $30 million round, and the latest round is expected to close within 90 days.

The decision to raise additional capital, and thereby accept some additional dilution, has been prompted by intense investor interest, not a desire for additional liquidity or as a reaction to the tumbling public equity markets.

“We’ve found that many institutions that want to come in with us on an operating basis also want to invest in us, which is why we’ve opened another round,” said Eric Daniels, chief executive of ZonaFinanciera.com. “I don’t want to speculate on how much we’ll raise, but we’ll give [investors] enough to make them interested but not so much that we really dilute ourselves.”

Former Citigroup Exec Named CEO

Daniels himself may well be the most interesting thing ZonaFinanciera.com has going for it right now, even though the company claims to have a valuation in the hundreds of millions of dollars. He was named chief executive last week following a 25-year career at Citicorp that included stints as chief operating officer of Citibank’s global consumer operations and head of European consumer operations. Daniels most recently served as chairman and chief executive of Travelers Life and Annuity.

“I’m leaving a wonderful organization,” Daniels said. “But the story here is so compelling that it seemed like the right thing to do.”

Former ZonaFinanciera.com CEO Greg Keough will remain with the organization as chairman.