Militello Capital led the round, providing institutional funding alongside the seed fund and startup accelerator 500 Startups, and one of the Center for Innovative Technology’s (CIT) Gap Funds. Wireless distributor Brightstar, one of the largest Hispanic-owned firms in the US, Frank Bonsal, founder of NEA and Sol Trujillo, former CEO of US West were among the angel investors who participated.
YaSabe, which means “now you know” in Spanish, is a search engine that offers results about local merchants and service providers, job listings, classified ads and special offers in the US.
The differentiator is that it’s aimed specifically at Hispanic consumers living in the US. Searching for a job in a particular state, for example, will bring up Spanish-speaking positions. Looking up a nearby restaurant, on the other hand, will suggest places that serve authentic Latin cuisine.
The service is available in Spanish and English, and also offers an online support service called Ayudame (which translates to “help me”). Users can then ask YaSabe’s local experts for help on a range of topics regarding their local community.
YaSabe says it will be using the seed funding to develop its core product and content, as well as its marketing and advertising partnerships.
“Existing local media simply do not address the unique needs of U.S. Hispanics, who collectively represent more than $1.2T in buying power,” Zubair Talib, CEO of YaSabe said.
“We take a multicultural approach to this audience and provide users with high-quality, culturally relevant content and the ability to participate in the social dialog within the Latino community.”
YaSabe positions itself as a tailored platform for businesses and media partners to connect with Hispanics in the US. To do this, it syndicates relevant content, and offers its partners “new revenue opportunities and expanded audiences,” which we assume relates to search rankings or promoted results.