Unbeknownst to many, according to American motorcycle manufacturer AKT, in 2012 more motorcycles were sold in Colombia than in the United States.
With an estimated 510,000 motorcycles sold in Colombia last year, Medellin-based startup PaMotos is announcing a round of funding from Silicon Valley investor Rohit Garewal on behalf of Object Edge, a multinational company specializing in e-commerce.
PaMotos is an e-commerce startup that enables individuals from around Colombia to purchase motorcycles and accessories related to the industry. The company was founded by Mauricio Maestre and Alejandro Gonzalez in 2011. It currently has 10 employees and is headquartered in Medellin, Colombia.
“PaMotos was started because when we were racing motorcycles, we found so many owners were looking for equipment that they couldn’t find in their local stores. We really felt that the internet provided the best solution for this,” explained Maestre, who acts as the company’s CEO.
The startup is one of the younger e-commerce startups to emerge from Colombia. E-commerce sales in the country continue to grow, with sales totaling nearly US$2 billion in 2012.
Maestre believes that the business is helping develop e-commerce in Colombia as it matures. He remarked, “Many in Colombia are not accustomed to using credit cards online, which is why challenges arise. What we face day-in and day-out are not problems that Silicon Valley companies deal with; however, we see an enormous opportunity for what we are providing.”
”PaMotos’ mission is to become the largest platform and community for motorcycle and automobile aficionados in Latin America,” he added.
The round of funding is coming from Silicon Valley, and it will be used by PaMotos to grow out its development and marketing team. The startup is also looking to expand into new verticals in the near future, including the automobile industry, as well as into new markets, such as Argentina and Mexico.
The startup is one of many companies in Colombia increasingly receiving attention from Silicon Valley. Says Eduardo Santoyo, General Manager for .CO Internet in Colombia, “There’s no question that the last decade has radically reshaped Colombia’s business climate, and that entrepreneurship is booming.”
PaMotos is a member of the National Business Association of Colombia (ANDI), specifically its new Seed Manager program, which provides a group of promising Colombian entrepreneurs with mentorship and support. Founded in 1944, ANDI aims to promote the political, economic and social structures in Colombia. iNNpulsa is also supporting the new Seed Manager program.
According to Juan Sebastian Franco of ANDI, “We created the Seed Manager program to support the next generation of entrepreneurs because we believe entrepreneurship and innovation are key to Colombia’s future.”
The country’s government and private initiatives are increasingly looking to these burgeoning entrepreneurs to serve as examples, particularly as the nation’s market continues to grow. This past year, Colombia increased by 41.9% its annual internet sales.