Softbank Says Its Latin America-targeted Fund Has At Least $3 Billion To Invest In Startups

TOKYO, JAPAN – SEPTEMBER 30: A man walks past a SoftBank mobile phone store on September 30, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. SoftBank, the technology and investment conglomerate owned by Masayoshi Son, is one of the largest investors in troubled American real estate company WeWork. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Tokyo-based Japanese conglomerate multinational company Softbank Group has announced a second fund targeted at investing in startups situated in Latin America. Known to be a serial investor with a track record of leading various rounds of various startups, Softbank Group revealed that the new Latin America-focused fund will invest the sum of $3 billion investing in startups.

Softbank has invested in quite a plethora of startups across the world and has consolidated its position as one of the world’s biggest tech investors. The new fund targeted at the Latin America region is simply the company placing a bet on a region that is seeing an increasing rise in the number of valuable startups; it wants to be one of the region’s major and biggest investors.

Latin America is making a lot of progress when it comes to the growth of startups and the number of investments that startups in the region are getting. Reports show that in the first half of 2021, the region as a whole received venture investments totaling $9.3 billion. The figure when juxtaposed with the figure for total venture investment for the year 2020 which stood at a total of $5.3 billion, shows that the region has seen steady and impressive growth.

Nubank – the largest fintech bank in Brazil, for instance, was recently valued at $30 billion. This automatically places Nubank on the list of the world’s most valuable venture-backed companies. The bank is also expected to have its initial public offering soon.

Investors are recognizing the opportunities that lay in the region and want to be the first to leverage this. In July, partners at venture firm Sequoia, in a blog post titled “The Latin American Startup Opportunity”, said that “the market opportunity is there, and the ecosystem is ready and galvanized”.

According to SoftBank, the Latin American Fund II will be focused on startups in the following fields – Artificial Intelligence, eCommerce, Digital Financial Services, Blockchain, Technology, etc. About the development, SoftBank’s CEO had to say that “there is so much innovation and disruption taking place in Latin America, and I believe the business opportunities there have never been stronger”.

SoftBank’s Latin America Fund I targeted $5 billion as an investment in startups. The fund is headed by SoftBank’s Operating Chief who happens to be the Executive Chairman for WeWork and was launched in 2019.

SoftBank’s Latin American Fund II promises to open up the region and provide startups in the region the opportunity of acquiring the funds that they need to fuel their expansion plans as well as grow.

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