Assets from defunct Internet portal Espanol.com and 88 other Spanish and Portuguese domain names will be for sale on online auction site Bid4Assets.com until April 24. The move underscores the increasingly tough market for e-commerce companies with what investors consider a small niche--even one as large as Spanish speakers, which is among the fastest-growing demographic groups in the United States.
Wakefield, Mass.-based Espanol.com was founded in 1999 as an Internet portal that targeted Latinos throughout the world. The company laid off almost all the employees and ceased operations last summer after it was unable to obtain additional funding, and it filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 22. Miami-based Yupi.com, another Spanish-language portal, also laid off two-thirds of its staff in December as the once burgeoning Spanish-language Internet industry withers.