Explorador Backs Latin American Net –

SAN FRANCISCO – Latin American hedge-fund manager Andrew Cummins has launched explorador.net, a venture fund that will invest in Internet-related companies targeting the region.

Affiliated with his hedge operation Explorador Capital Management, explorador.net began raising its fund in mid-June and a month later reached a first close on $15 million, leading to a question of whether the firm would add new investors to the fund or create a second vehicle to accommodate them.

The group at press time had yet to determine the ultimate size of explorador.net, but it is not expected to grow much larger because of its early-stage focus, said Internet Analyst Peter Morrow. Explorador.net will make initial investments of $250,000 to $1 million per company, but over time will put up between $2 million and $5 million.

Capital from the first close came entirely from domestic investors, mostly individuals, families, funds-of-funds and institutions.

The fund features a 2% management fee and an 80%/20% carried interest split. Explorador.net has a four-member team that is fluent in Spanish, including San Francisco-based Senior Analyst Oswaldo Sandoval and Miami-based Senior Analyst Sandro Trosso. Cummins, who could not be reached by press time, is the sole partner in the group.

Explorador.net will invest in American companies targeting the Latin American Internet market, such as those in Miami’s “Silicon Barrio” and Internet companies based in Latin America. To a lesser extent, the group also will consider backing companies that target the U.S. Hispanic Internet market.

Explorador.net will invest in all Latin American countries, although there will be special attention placed on Brazil, where half of the region’s Internet users are located.

The fund has no investment professional stationed in Latin America, but the group makes frequent trips there and has relationships with regional businesses through Explorador Capital.

Looking toward the future, Morrow expects explorador.net portfolio companies to go public on Nasdaq or be acquired by other companies hungry for entry into the Latin American market.