I have spent a good deal of time in Brazil over the past two years. First in my role as VP Biz Dev for SiteApps based in Sao Paulo, setting up their web hosting partner program and signing up channel partners in North America and Western Europe.
Most recently I was in Brazil as VP of Biz Dev for SiteWit based in Tampa, setting up channel hosting partners with my web host contacts in Brazil.
Brazil is an amazing country: great people, culture, food etc. There are tremendous opportunities to export and import tech. Brazil has a strong, fast growing economy. Office space in Sao Paulo costs about as much as in NYC. Brazil the 7th largest economy in the world and the largest in South America. It has a vibrant technology sector with lots of highly skilled tech workers. Like many developing countries, Brazil struggles with crime, corruption and bureaucracy.
Many US based web hosts and other tech companies are expanding there and setting up operations in part because Brazil is about 5-7 years behind the US in terms of the adoption of modern business technology. Only 25% of the businesses in Brazil have websites as compared to 50% in the US today. In 2007 the US Census determined 25% of SMBs in the US had websites.
Another example is e-commerce. Only 25% of websites purchased in Brazil are done using credit cards as compared to 95% in the US. In Brazil businesses don't use credit cards to pay for things. They use form of payment called the Boleto. When you buy something online using a Boleto you get a printout containing a barcode that you take to your bank and they handle the transactions.
GoDaddy recently opened an office there and Hostgator has an office that's 4th largest host in Brazil.