, a front-runner in the online business-to-business market in Latin America, has received $8.5 million in backing from JP Morgan Capital and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Private Equity. Asista is creating an electronic marketplace for Latin American companies doing business with each other.

The site will be available in Spanish and Portuguese. Competitors include two joint ventures: one between Grupo Financiero Banamex and Commerce One Inc., and between Grupo Financiero Banorte and Hewlett-Packard Co.