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Batanga, a Web Site Focused on Hispanics, Lands $5 Million in New Financing

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Batanga

, a multi-media website and media company focused on the Hispanic community, has landed $5 million in venture capital funding.

H.I.G. Ventures led the round.

Batanga, which was launched in Greensboro and drew investors such as Southern Capitol Ventures of Raleigh and the Piedmont Angels Investor Network, merged with Planeta Networks in December to form Hispanic Media, Inc. The company's headquarters is in Miami, but most of its employees remain in Greensboro.

"We are extremely excited to get the backing of such a strong investor," said Rafael Urbina, Batanga's chairman and chief executive officer. "The resources and connections H.I.G. Ventures brings bring to the table, coupled with the momentum achieved through our recent merger of Batanga, give our company a great boost toward becoming the premier online destination for young Hispanics."

A recent study by research firm eMarketer reported that 15.7 million Hispanics utilized the web in 2005 and projected that number would increase to more than 20 million by 2010.

The Batanga website includes 35 online radio stations and offers a variety of on-demand video and other multimedia content. Batanga also publishes a TV-focused website, Planeta.com. The Batanga site draws more than 2.5 million unique visitors per month.

The additional funding will be used to help the company expand into additional distribution, marketing and content channels as well as marketing and advertising, the company said.

"Online entertainment consumption within the U.S. Hispanic market is growing exponentially and Batanga has put together a very attractive set of media offerings for this audience," said John Kim, managing director for H.I.G. Ventures. "Batanga's has the right management team in place and a proven sales engine that will make this company a dominant force in online and wireless Hispanic media. We look forward to helping them achieve this kind of market position."

Troy McConnell, the founder of Batanga, is chief operating officer of the merged company.

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