SoftBank Commits $3b to Latin American Start-ups

The "Latin America Fund II" will encourage the development of emerging technologies and AI in the Latin American Market.

By Joel Davies -

SoftBank Group Corp. has announced the launch of the SoftBank Latin America Fund II (“Fund II”), its second dedicated private investment fund focused on technology companies in the Latin American market with an initial US$3 billion commitment. Fund II will explore options to raise additional capital.

Fund II intends to invest in technology-enabled companies across countries and industries at every stage of their development, from seed to public, throughout the developing region. They intend to do this by identifying prospective investments that are using emerging technologies and AI to define and reshape new industries with a focus on e-commerce, digital financial services, healthcare, education, blockchain, and enterprise software, among others.

Marcelo Claure, Corporate Officer, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of SoftBank Group Corp. and Chief Executive Officer of SoftBank Group International, leads the SoftBank Latin America Funds, with an investment team – run by Managing Partners Shu Nyatta and Paulo Passoni – and an operations team led by Alex Szapiro, Operating Partner and Head of Brazil.

Masayoshi Son, Representative Director, Corporate Officer, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of SoftBank Group Corp., said, “Latin America is one of the most important economic regions in the world, and SoftBank will continue to drive technology adoption that will benefit hundreds of millions of people in this part of the world.

“There is so much innovation and disruption taking place in Latin America, and I believe the business opportunities there have never been stronger. Latin America is a critical part of our strategy – this is why we are expanding our presence and doubling down on our commitment with Marcelo at the helm”.

The additional funds raise the total investment to $8 billion after the original SoftBank Latin America Fund, which was announced in March 2019, committed $5 billion. The SoftBank Latin America Fund was considered a success, investing throughout Latin America, including in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador.

Softbank Latin America
The Softbank Latin America Fund involves companies like Satellogic who provide high-def satellite imaging for a number of uses, including to map rising temperatures in Australia. Image: Satellogic.

The fund saw investments in 15 out of 25 LatAm unicorns*1 including QuintoAndar, Rappi, Mercado Bitcoin, Gympass and MadeiraMadeira. The fund also participated in value uplift for portfolio companies in USD, including 4.4x for Kavak, 4.4x for VTEX, 2.6x for QuintoAndar and 3.5x for Banco Inter.

Marcelo Claure said, “Over the past two years, we have seen tremendous success and returns from the SoftBank Latin America Fund that far exceeded our expectations. The amazing work and vision that Latin America’s entrepreneurs have demonstrated in the region gives us confidence that its digital transformation will continue to accelerate – in fact, we expect that 2022 will be the biggest IPO year in Latin America’s history.

“Now is the time for us to double down on our commitment to the region. We will continue to support the growth of technology companies across nearly three dozen countries and are proud to be the most active technology investor in the region”.

You can find more information about Softbank and its Latin America Fund on its website.

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*1 Unicorn defined as at least $1B post-money valuation in the latest private round; includes companies that have recently gone public but received +$1B valuation in latest private round. The list does not include companies that were already publicly listed and valued over $1B in 2019.

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