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Baidu leads USD60m investment to establish Brazil-based investment fund

Chinese internet search provider Baidu is the lead investor in Easterly Ventures, a new USD60 million Brazil-based investment fund.

Easterly Ventures will focus on providing funding, technology, local traffic and industry expertise for Brazilian tech start-ups, with the goal of building a robust mobile service ecosystem in Latin America.
Baidu announced its investment during an event in São Paulo, which was attended by over 200 Internet industry executives. At the event, Yan Di, general manager of Baidu Brasil and president of the Brazilian O2O Association, said Easterly Ventures will be Brazil's first internet investment fund of its kind to provide start-ups with the combination of capital, technology, traffic and experience necessary to penetrate national and international markets.
"We strongly believe that Easterly Ventures will be a winner in Brazil's talent-rich market, applying learnings from China to build out the mobile ecosystem here," says Di. "Brazil's economy is expected to rebound in the year ahead. There is absolutely no better time to enter this market.”
Easterly Ventures plans to invest in as many as 15 Brazilian start-up companies during its investment period, with the first investment slated for late 2016.
Easterly Ventures is the latest of Baidu's many initiatives to support the growth of Latin America's tech industry.
Previously, Baidu Brasil teamed up with the Latin American Association (LAAS) and top universities to promote its start-up incubator projects "Baidu Accelerate" and "Baidu Class".
In 2015, Baidu Brasil founded Brazil's first business community for online-to-offline (O2O) companies, the Brazil O2O Association.
In 2014, Baidu acquired the Brazilian group-buying platform Peixe Urbano, and successfully expanded its market share from 30 per cent to 70 per cent over the course of one year.

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