Paddy Cosgrave’s Web Summit signs three-year deal with Rio de Janeiro

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The Web Summit is to expand to the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, starting with a conference in 2023.

The event, Web Summit Rio, is the first of what Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave says will be more “regional web summits around the world” over the next three years, including conferences in Africa, in the Middle East and Asia.

Mr Cosgrave said the deal involved commercial terms between Brazilian civil authorities and his company, but declined to give details of the amount involved.

“We are in Rio for the next three years with an option to extend,” he said. “It’s very similar to the framework we used when we first moved to Lisbon from Dublin.”

As part of the agreement with the Lisbon authorities, the Web Summit receives 11 million euros per year to host the event there. The arrangement was recently extended through 2028.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said he believed the deal could bring 1 billion reais (188 million euros) to Rio’s economy. He also said the arrangement could extend beyond that three-year period.

“It could be a deal for 10 or 20 years, we’re pretty optimistic about that,” Paes said.

Mr. Cosgrave said the value of the Web Summit brand was a driver for the deal.

“We hope that the direct short-term economic impact of an event like the Web Summit can bring a huge amount to the economy, such as long-term brand value [it brought] in Portugal.

Mr Cosgrave said speakers and other details have yet to be announced.

In Ireland, the Web Summit founder is currently embroiled in a number of disputes with co-founders Daire Hickey and David Kelly. Last week, an associate of Mr Hickey, Mark O’Toole, launched libel proceedings in the High Court against Mr Cosgrave over comments he made about Mr O’Toole on Twitter.

The Web Summit employs over 200 people at its headquarters in Dublin.

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