Frontier Digital Ventures invests in Panama’s Encuentra24.com

Panama Business. Malaysia-based Frontier Digital Ventures (FDV) has made its maiden investment in Panama, 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 said.

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.

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