The online classifieds operator Frontier Digital Ventures has announced that Ricardo Frechou has been appointed CEO of its Latin American division (FDV LATAM).
In a shake-up to the company's organisational structure, FDV's Latin American holding company will now be operated regionally with Ricardo Frechou and Guillermo Tavidian serving as CEO and CTO respectively.
[Since this story was first published, FDV has poached Corotos CEO Jessica Weinerth to lead Encuentra24.]
Speaking of the appointments FDV's founder and CEO, Shaun Di Gregorio said:
“It is with great pleasure FDV announces Ricardo Frechou and Guillermo Tavidian have accepted new roles as CEO and CTO of FDV LATAM respectively. These appointments continue FDV’s long association with Ricardo and his team, which continues to deliver significant value for shareholders. We are incredibly excited by the enormous opportunity ahead of FDV LATAM and our shared ambition in relation to future monetisation plans."
Frechou and Tavidian move up from their respective positions at the Uruguayan-headquartered portal company InfoCasas and will now lead FDV's regional assets (Fincaraiz in Colombia, encuentra24 in Central America, Yapo in Chile and InfoCasas in Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru).
Overall FDV's LATAM segment has performed well so far in 2022. The combined assets boast 85 million users and generated 27 million leads for four million advertisers in the first half of 2022. FDV LATAM was EBITDA positive for the period and generated A$22 million in revenue for the Australian-listed company.
The move will allow FDV LATAM to leverage intellectual property across the organization and scale InfoCasas' transactional capabilities. The change is also expected to drive efficiencies in product and technology development, as well as the finance, human resources and administrative functions.
FDV has three geographical segments for which it has split reporting out on geographical lines since early 2022. Prior to today's announcement, all three divisions (LATAM, MENA and Southeast Asia) had been run directly from the company's head office in Malaysia. Di Gregorio confirmed that there are currently no plans to break out MENA or SEA under their own leadership.
Frechou's promotion comes after the InfoCasas founder oversaw spectacular growth in the first half of 2022 with the portal logging A$8.5 million in revenue, a 244% increase on HY1 2021. The company and its innovative transaction-based model had been praised by Di Gregorio as "a great example of the rapid revenue growth achievable as transaction revenues augment traditional classifieds revenues" in the company's 2021 yearly investor presentation.
Ricardo Frechou took part in a panel session at the Global Online Marketplaces Summit in Miami in June (below) and will be speaking at the Property Portal Watch conference in Madrid later this month.
The breaking out of FDV LATAM under regional leadership was not the only interesting point from FDV's press release circulated to journalists this afternoon. The missive also mentioned the possibility of an eventual listing of the regional division on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
While no commitment about a public listing was forthcoming, the company did state that the goal is to increase revenue for LATAM from around $30 million to $100 million in the medium term and likened the "liquidity path" being considered to regional success stories Mercado Libre and dLocal.
Also included in today's announcement from FDV was the news that Frechou and his fellow founders from InfoCasas and Encuentra24 had agreed to exchange a percentage of their earn-out payments for equity in FDV LATAM.
Having acquired Colombian market-leading vertical Fincaraiz in 2020 and Chilean generalist Yapo in early 2021 from Adevinta, FDV bought out the remaining shares in InfoCasas and those of Encuentra24 from their respective founders later in the year.
The InfoCasas executives have agreed to exchange at least 50% of their earn-out cash consideration for equity in FDV LATAM while the Encuentra24 founders have agreed to exchange at least 25% of their earn-out cash consideration. The company said that it may use similar incentive arrangements with others "to align key employees with the FDV LATAM value creation plan".