Fernando Madeira is the co-founder and CEO of Terra, the largest internet company in Latin America. He boasts that the “next Twitter, Google, Facebook” will come from this part of the emerging market world.
“We are seeing huge activity in Latin America,” he says. “In Latin America we have a special sauce in the people… we love electronics and electronic chips.”
The stats, presented at the LeWeb conference in Paris, back up what Madeira is saying. There are 90-million broadband connections alone in Brazil. Almost 220-million people use the internet there every month, says Madeira.
Penetration of social networks in Latin America sits at around 86%. In Brazil, this is more than 90%. Madeira’s company, named as a top five innovative company by Forbes magazine, is making a killing.
A super angel’s angle on the power of Brazil, Russia
Fabrice Grinda is another internet player passionate about emerging markets. He is a well-known angel internet investor and Princeton graduate, who lives in New York. He specialises in bringing the models of successful internet companies in the West to countries like Brazil, Russia and India.
He’s invested in hundreds of companies, even blowing about US$6-million (then 25% of his wealth) in his first six investments that went horribly south. Now that’s in the past. Today he only invests in “consumer-facing companies” and “established copies of US ideas”.
Grinda reminds us about the amazing startup activity in both Brazil and Russia, including the arrival in the last 10 years of large internet companies in these countries.
Brazil has a population of 200-million people, it’s the 8th most wealthy country in the world with 20-million online shoppers. For Grinda, Russia has amazing promise with 60-million online users and 13-million people using ecommerce sites.
Memeburn will be doing interviews with these two key emerging market players. Watch out for it.