Following the deal, the Brazilian company plans to hire an additional 600 employees by 2021 and to accelerate international growth. Hotmart already has 500 employees at its various locations in Brazil, Colombia, Spain, the Netherlands and Mexico.
Since 2011, Hotmart has been an active content distribution platform for digital products, allowing users to sell and deliver their own services. Some of these range from online courses, ebooks, video, software, among other areas.
Even if you don’t have your own asset to offer, people can sign up to become affiliates. This entails promoting the good or service all while earning commissions.
Although the value of this investment round is still unknown, the two funds reportedly acquired 30 percent of the company. Nine private equity funds reportedly submitted proposals to Credit Suisse that coordinated the process between parties.
A source familiar with the deal said that funds wanted to invest in the Brazilian company because they “could not find a player in the same space with such a scale-up business as Hotmart.”
Based in Belo Horizonte, Hotmart facilitates the sales of online courses, ranging from cooking to exercise. Under this includes hosting, payment, security, customization and management services.
Courses are measured by both “temperature” and “blueprint.” Temperature assesses the sales potential of a product based on success indicators. These include sales history and evaluation of clients.
Similarly, the blueprint evaluates the quality of information about the product and predicts the chances of it being successful. The bigger the blueprint, the better.
As of today, there are around 140,000 online courses available without any membership or monthly fees. The startup typically earns a 9.9 percent value off of each sale. Online education is becoming a lucrative market, generating about US$300 billion a year.
João Pedro Resende and Mateus Bicalho founded the startup eight years ago while studying computer science at PUC-MG. The idea originally came about when Resende was selling a digital book and thought of an automating the process.
Hotmart raised US$300,000 in seed capital from Brazilian shopping service Buscapé when it originally launched. Kees Koolen, the founder of Booking.com, has also invested and serves on the company’s board.