Navent is a market leader in both the real estate and jobs classifieds sector in Latin America and has achieved domination according to three key factors, says its co-founder and CEO.
Nicolás Tejerina transitioned from the world of business consulting to the online classifieds sector when he was in his early 20s, excited by the prospect of taking jobs and real estate into a digital environment. In 1999 he began working at Latin America’s biggest online jobs board Bumeran.com, and within a few years Navent was born.
“In 2003 our main shareholder in Bumeran.com had decided to sell the business to focus on other opportunities,” says Tejerina, a speaker at this year's inaugural Global Online Classifieds Summit in Miami.
“We acquired the company for 1 euro, and from there on I became the CEO of Bumeran,” he says of the acquisition.
Shortly after, the company transitioned into Navent and around 2009 it became evident to Tejerina and his team that internet and mobile adoption in Latin America would disrupt the real estate advertising market as it had done with the jobs market in previous years.
The company now owns and operates the leading online marketplaces for real estate and employment in Latin America; its brands operating across nine countries.
Tejerina says running such a successful large-scale operation is rewarding but not without its challenges.
“Today we operate in nine countries across the region and one of the biggest complexities is dealing with all the macro changes in the region,” he states. “We operate from highly regulated markets like Venezuela to more deregulated operations in Chile; this implies that our businesses need to adapt to different jurisdictions and service models.”
Conquering such a robust market was no easy feat but Tejerina says there are key factors that led to Navent’s accomplishment across numerous markets.
Many of Navent’s core employees have been with the company from the outset and are an asset in the ever-changing online classifieds industry, Tejerina admits.
“We believe the extensive experience and depth of our management team are distinct competitive advantages in the complex and evolving industry in which we compete; some of our senior executives have been with Navent for almost 20 years, since the birth of classifieds in the region.”
The company operates 17 brands across the jobs and real estate sectors, accumulating over 55 millions visits per month. Tejerina believes it’s Navent’s strong presence and customer recognition that really drives the brand forward.
“Currently most of our brands are top of mind in their respective categories and this creates strong demand for our services and attracts qualified audiences,” Tejerina says of the business he’s spent the last 17 years building.
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Over time, Navent has built a robust and scalable platform that now supports more than 20 million Unique Monthly Visitors, above 4 million monthly listings and thousands of paying customers.
“We believe our consumer products are unmatched in the region; we are in constant evolution, innovating and reshaping our features to provide our users (customers and users) with an exceptional experience,” he concludes.