Starmedia bets on Latin American new media

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MEXICO CITY--Latin American Internet gateway StarMedia is far from turning a profit but company officials contend its early entrance in the market will guarantee premium revenue in the near future.

"I think all you have to do is look at our momentum," says Adriana Kampfner, StarMedia senior VP-global sales and general manager, Mexico.

Although StarMedia's revenue jumped 537% to $3.75 million in the secondquarter of this year, costly investment in sales, marketing and customerservices put the company in the red by $21.8 million.

Ms. Kampfner, however, sees a bright future for the gateway, one of the first to offer pan-regional and local content in Latin America.

First, the perception of the Internet has undergone a rapid transformationwithin the last year and businesses are no longer looking at it just as analternative medium for advertising.

"People are starting to realize that if you don't present yourself to your customers (in the Internet) someone else will," says Ms. Kampfner.

She also says that StarMedia's focus on customer services sets it apart from other regional competitors.

"A client needs to have daily or weekly feedback and intelligent analysis of their creative because they can actually do something about it and learn from it in real time," says Ms. Kampfner.

The company already counts 160 clients today, up from the 16 reported ayear ago.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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