(VentureBeat) February 17, 2012 – Intel Capital, the investment arm of the world’s biggest chip maker, said today it has invested in two Brazilian fashion e-commerce sites Coquelux and Fashion.me.
The move shows that the investment craze around online shopping has moved to the emerging markets of the world, where big audiences await. Brazil is the third-largest PC market in the world and Intel wants to expand it for its own self-interest.
Coquelux is an online shopping club that gives members exclusive access to flash events where they can buy premium and luxury goods at a discount. Fashion.me is a social e-commerce platform where users create custom looks from more than two million labels and share them in the Fashion.me network.
Intel Capital has invested in five Brazilian startups in the past year and doubled its team of professionals in the region. Since 1999, Intel Capital has invested $75 million in 25 Brazilian companies.
“Intel Capital began investing in Brazil in 1999 and as one of the first private equity and technology venture capital organizations in Brazil, we long ago recognized the need to stimulate the local creation of unique and compelling online experiences to keep pace with Brazil’s rapid internet and technology adoption,” said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and executive vice-president for Intel, in a statement. “The investments in social commerce site Fashion.me and e-commerce site Coquelux build out critical components of the online shopping ecosystem, offering consumers and fashion brands opportunities to create customized online experiences tailored specifically to interests, needs and cultural preferences.”
Fernando Martins, president of Intel Brazil, said Brazilians spend more time connected to the internet than people in any other country.
Fashion.me, originally byMK, was founded in 2008 and is run by Flávio Pripas, founding partner of Fashion.me. Coquelux offers discounts of 30 to 90 percent for members of its online shopping club. The company is run by Pierre Emmanuel Joffre, chief executive and founder, who said it focuses on premium and luxury labels that cater to its members’ lifestyle.
Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than $10.4 billion in 1,212 companies in 51 countries. Of those companies, 196 have gone public and 291 were acquired. In 2011, Intel Capital invested $526 million in 89 new and 69 follow-on investments. About 51 percent was invested outside the U.S. and Canada.
By Dean Takahashi