* U.S. asset manager to buy stake in online fashion retailer
* Deal highlights interest in fast-growing Brazilian
* Dafiti to use cash boost to expand into other segments
SAO PAULO, Aug 21 Brazilian online fashion
retailer Dafiti said on Tuesday that it would receive $45
million from J.P. Morgan Asset Management in a cash-for-equity
deal that underscores investors' appetite for the country's
fast-growing Internet market.
The announcement comes less than a month after a fund
launched by U.S. firms Redpoint Ventures and e.ventures raised
$130 million to invest in Brazilian mobile, media and
Dafiti, Brazil's answer to Amazon.com Inc's popular
Zappos.com online shoe and fashion store, says it will use the
cash to improve logistics, expand into other segments such
beauty and home decor, and to bolster recently launched
operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.
"Brazil is still a huge country whose online potential needs
to be tapped, and we are very well prepared to do that," Philipp
Povel, who created Dafiti in 2011, told Reuters in an interview.
The deal illustrates the potential investors see in Brazil's
online retail business, a $10.5 billion market expected to grow
25 percent this year despite a recent slowdown in Latin
America's biggest economy.
Venture capital has been steadily flowing into Brazilian
startups for the last few years, trying to tap into a market
powered by a middle class hungry for consumer goods and with an
Internet penetration of just 40 percent, about half that of the
J.P. Morgan Asset Management, a unit of JPMorgan Chase & Co
, will take an undisclosed minority stake in Dafiti
through a German holding company.
According to a statement released by Dafiti, J.P. Morgan
Asset Management managing director Robert Cousin said the
Brazilian online retailer should "expand upon their leading
market position in the months and years to come."
Created in 2011 with help from the German business incubator
Rocket Internet, Dafiti is one of Brazil's leading online
fashion retailers with 30 million visits a month.
Malte Horeyseck, another of the company's founders, said
Dafiti aimed for a 33 percent to 50 percent share of Brazil's
online fashion retail business.