Greg Sands, Managing Director of Sutter Hill Ventures is a specialist in software, internet services, and advertising, marketing and media technologies. One of his firms recent investments the Hispanic online ad network Consorte Media. Sands talked to Portada about Consorte and other opportunities in the Hispanic market.
Portada: What was behind your decision to invest in the Hispanic digital media marketplace?
Greg Sands: The Hispanic audience online has gotten to critical mass and continues to grow rapidly. It has substantial buying power but is underserved. Consorte can help grow the market by providing better monetization to publishers. It will encourage money to flow into the Hispanic media segment by aggregating enough audience so that advertisers who want to reach the Hispanic audience will have trusted ways to do so.
Portada: Are you looking to invest in Hispanic media properties other than Consorte?
Greg Sands: I am already an investor in Nexxo Financial which provides easy, convenient, and low cost remittance services between the US and Latin America. I am looking for great businesses and great business leaders across segments and the Hispanic market has many interesting opportunities.
Portada: Do you think that a company active in the Hispanic media market has different valuation multiples than one present in the general market?
Greg Sands: No, not different multiples of revenue or profit. But I do think that publishers in the Hispanic market have lower monetization (CPMs or advertising rates) than publishers in the general market. That shouldn’t be true. Hispanic customers have ample (and growing) buying power, but advertisers haven’t had good ways of reaching that audience outside of the couple large portals. Consorte will help solve that problem by aggregating a high quality audience that advertisers can reach and thereby helping publishers make more money.
Portada: What are the main challenges when investing in Hispanic media properties?
Greg Sands: Other than monetization, I don’t think there are unique challenges in this segment. People are people and business is business.
Distinctions to be aware of between Hispanic/General Market
“Unique Cultural Brand positioning”
Mainstream Brand positioning
E.g. No sleepovers
Babies as focal point of extended family
Families more nuclear.
Level of Acculturation
Components of a 360-degree Hispanic Parenting Media Company
ü Magazine in doctor's offices and direct mailed to home, plus rack distribution
ü TV shows
ü Destination Website
ü Custom Publishing
ü Grass-Roots Events
ü Direct Mail (Database Marketing)