Batanga Raises $30 Million in Venture Capital
August 14th, 2007
Posted by Danny Allen
Yesterday, Batanga announced that it has raised $30 million in additional venture capital. According to the press release, the money will be used for marketing, development of social media products, and online content catering to the bicultural Latino consumer.
The credit markets are in shambles, hedge funds are sinking like rocks, and investors are begging the Fed for a bailout â€“ but the online Hispanic market is worth at least another $30 million in venture capital. The reason for this is because despite the housing market and mortgage industries being in trouble, Batanga is at the center of two very positive and seemingly long-term trends that should far outlast these short term economic cycles.* The first is the growth in the Hispanic population and Hispanic economic power. The second is the growth of online advertising.
Batanga has done a terrific job of reaching young Hispanics who speak English, Spanish, or both, known as bilingual, bicultural, new generation Hispanics. This is the key Hispanic demographic that advertisers want to reach. Further, they have an excellent website that makes it easy for advertisers to make the most of.
If there’s one thing that gives me pause, it’s that I can’t say for sure that I would give somebody $30 million today to create a social network add-on to an established site. On the plus side, social networks create pages and pages of content (and ad impressions) without having to pay anybody for that content. On the minus side, those aren’t exactly premium impressions. Also, it’s not as if there is a real shortage of Latin social networking sites. There’s always the chance that all those marketing dollars and an already strong site will be able to transition into a half-website/half-social network that works, but it will be a difficult task for Batanga and could end up taking away time and resources in an effort to be a me-too social network.
Nonetheless, Batanga is a terrific site that has done a great job of dominating a prize online demographic, and this is further evidence that the online Hispanic market is healthy and likely headed for more good things.
* That’s not to say that Batanga will necessarily continue to do well or will even survive. The late 90′s taught us that you can have a great idea and a lot of VC money and still fail fantastically. Nonetheless, the point remains that Batanga does have a great site and a lot of VC money.
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