Intel Capital announces investment in Brazilian “virtual shopping”
(Intel Capital) August 10, 2012 – Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment and M&A organization, announced an investment in ELike, a software development company from Rio de Janeiro that created the first social commerce multi-store platform for Facebook in Brazil. My Shopping, ELike’s platform, already features top brands and has an installed base of over 70 thousand users for its application
My Shopping integrates social platforms with electronic commerce, offering retailers and top brands an opportunity to monetize social channels on the Internet. In just a year, the platform has consolidated as the main social e-commerce tool for large brands, featuring more than ten virtual stores in operation. Local well known brands such as Richards and Hope are already reaping the benefits provided by My Shopping [they had more brands listed in the Brazilian version, we should include them all]. In the coming 12 months, ELike plans to expand its portfolio to approximately 50 brands.
Founded in 2011 by entrepreneurs Flavio Berman, Tatiana Albuquerque and Raphael Lassance, in Rio de Janeiro, ELike launched My Shopping in July of that year, with the proposal of functioning as an aggregator of premium brands on the biggest social network in the planet. The goal of My Shopping is not only to increase online sales through Facebook stores but also connect brand fans in a social context to promote involvement and relationships between customers and brands.
My Shopping is a Facebook application that functions as “virtual shopping”, uniting premium brand retailers under the same platform.. Each store is managed independently, and each retailer has full control over the items shown in the virtual store, promotions and inventory. The platform is highly customizable and it enables creation of virtual stores with the look and feel of each retailer.
In addition to hosting in a safe environment sized to deal with high peaks of access and integration with the main payment platforms and anti-fraud systems in the country, My Shopping also has many social tools, like recommendation and sharing systems, wish lists, birthday lists, e-gift cards and other tools that allows retailers to explore opportunities within its social network followers. Customers can access the stores in two ways: either through the brand’s fan page or through downloading Elike Facebook App., which after installed shows up on the applications “bookmark” of the user on Facebook;
With the strong growth of e-commerce opportunities on social platforms, ELike decided to seek an investor capable of adding more than capital to the business and enabling quick expansion of its customer base. “Intel Capital drew our attention as it is a fund aimed exclusively at technological innovation with broad expertise in the Brazilian market”, said Tatiana Albuquerque, CEO of ELike. “As a portfolio company of Intel Capital, we stand to benefit from the extensive global network of Intel Capital while also relying on specialized support in innovation for electronic commerce platforms”.
For Intel Capital, the innovative profile of the platform, combined with the accelerated growth in the number of Brazilian users on the Facebook social network, made ELike an interesting investment opportunity. “We are observing a significant conversion of social platforms from the consumer point of view, and My Shopping offers an interesting model, quite innovative and unlike anything else we have seen around the world”, said David Thomas, general director of Intel Capital for Latin America. “The My Shopping model uses market intelligence and social components to maximize brand results inside virtual shopping, an important advantage for the company’s partners.”
With this capital infusion, ELike plans to invest in innovation and technology in order to keep improving the My Shopping platform, adding new resources and tools that will help partner brands explore the full potential of social networks. The company is also adding new talent to improve its development team and keep itself competitive in a market that shows strong growth potential in coming years.
Since it started to operate officially in the region in 1999, Intel Capital became one of the main investment funds targeting technology and innovation in Latin America. In the past thirteen years, the company has invested in more than 40 companies in the region, with more than 25 investments performed in Brazil. In 2011, Intel Capital doubled its investor team and made several new investments in the country.
ELike is a social commerce solutions startup, formed in March 2011 by entrepreneurs Tatiana Albuquerque, Flavio Berman and Raphael Lassance with the goal of offering the Brazilian market the opportunity to expand its revenue from virtual social channels through pioneer tools in the Brazilian market.
The “My Shopping” platform, developed by ELike, was launched on July 4th 2011 and spread the concept of F-Commerce (commerce inside Facebook) in Brazil. This positioned the company as a reference through the main communication vehicles in the country and awarded it recognition from Facebook Brazil.
My Shopping works as an electronic commerce social platform for the brands as well as an unique application for Facebook users.
About Intel Capital
Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment and M&A organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, mobility, health, consumer Internet, digital media, semiconductor manufacturing and cleantech. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$10.6bln in over 1,245 companies in 52 countries. In that timeframe, 200 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 299 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2011, Intel Capital invested US$526M in 158 investments with approximately 51 percent of funds invested outside the U.S. and Canada.