(Photo: PaMotos)

A Colombian start-up which sells motorcycle accessories online has received a major, undisclosed investment from Silicon Valley firms.

Pamotos co-founder Mauricio Maestre told Colombia Reports on Friday that Colombians are just now starting to embrace buying things online.

“Today we’re planting the seeds of e-commerce [buying things online] and in the next five years, we’ll harvest it,” Maestre said. “Colombians are just starting to ditch their fears of using credit cards online. So the challenges we face are different from Silicon Valley companies.”

Colombians spent $2 billion online in 2012. Annual internet sales in Colombia have increased by 41.9% in the past five years, the fifth fastest rate of growth in the world. Maestre said the Colombian government has pledged to build 8.8 million internet connections around the country in the next three years.

PaMotos, which was founded in Medellin in 2011 and employs 10 people, is among Medellin’s growing start-up scene.

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Maestre said PaMotos will use the undisclosed sum from investment firm XYZ and e-commerce multinational Objective Edge to build a marketing team and expand into the Argentine and Mexican markets.

PaMotos is also taking advantage of the booming motorcycle market in Colombia. An estimated 510,000 motorcycles were sold in Colombia in 2012, reportedly more than were sold in the United States, despite the population being a seventh of the size.

Co-founders Maestre and Alejandro Gonzalez met in university in Medellin and Maestre, a competitive motorcycle racer, saw a gap in the market for motorcycle parts and accessories sold over the Internet.

“PaMotos was started because we found so many motorcycle owners were looking for equipment that they couldn’t find it in their local stores,” Maestre said.

MORE: Colombia needs to find alternative to Silicon Valley model: Tech entrepreneur


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