Latin American startup Brands Of, which provides an e-commerce platform for local product exports, announced the closing of its round of prime seed investment with a capital injection of $1 million to strengthen its footprint in the region, invest in technology and increase its reach within the Hispanic community in the continental United States.
The agreement was formalized with both the local and foreign capital. Investment fund Hunt Holdings LP, based in El Paso, Texas, increased its stake in the company while Miguel Ríos, a Puerto Rican executive who is part of the Twitter team in San Francisco, came in as an angel investor.
The round was led by GFR Investments, owned by Group Ferre Rangel, which has as one of its main approaches supporting the island’s economic development through investments in emerging industries and enterprises or local startups.
“This investment in Brands Of has a multiplier effect on all Puerto Rican brands that are part of the Brands of Puerto Rico family. Now, like us, they have the opportunity to accelerate their growth by exporting their products,” said Nestor Guarien Taveras, co-founder and CEO of Brands Of.
“We continue to provide the Puerto Rican diaspora, now more powerfully than ever, a way to continue supporting and investing in our island,” he said. “It is an important step for the tech ecosystem in Puerto Rico, as this funding from local investors toward emerging Puerto Rican company is one of the first in its class.”
As part of the agreement, GFR Investments joins the company’s board of directors comprised by the two founders and Hunt Holdings.
“To Hunt Holdings, the investment continues to validate the fact that good investments and good co-investors can arise in various geographies and prosper together where the local community supports innovation,” said Beto Pallares, Hunt Holdings consultant and member of the Brands of board directors.
Brands Of will use the investment to increase its local team and those in their Latin American markets, in addition to seeking to invest in technology to further develop intelligence tools that enable Latin American companies better understand Latino consumer’s online behavior.
“We have always been very protective with our partners as we seek smart money, or people who allow our vision to grow strategically,” said Brands Of Co-founder Alan Taveras.
“The sum of these two new partners completes the shaping of our corporate strategy. Miguel Ríos brings his experience managing data scientist teams in Twitter and Silicon Valley, while GFR Investments provides us with new tools and a corporate culture that allows us to take the step from startup to established company,” he said.