SoftBank said to be working on LatAm fund to be run by COO Claure

Marcelo Claure. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

SoftBank Group Corp. is lining up a Latin American investment fund that will be run by Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The fund, still in a nascent state of development, may be announced in coming days, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private plans. The vehicle will focus on venture investments and is separate from SoftBank’s huge Vision Fund, according to one of the people. It could reach several billion dollars in size, another person familiar with the situation said. The company declined to comment.

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son first recruited Claure in 2013 when the Japanese company acquired a majority stake in Brightstar, a phone distribution business Claure led. Son elevated him the next year to run Sprint Corp. where Claure led a turnaround of the wireless operator and ultimately agreed to sell the business to rival T-Mobile US Inc. He was named SoftBank COO last year.

SoftBank has a history of investing in Latin America. In 2000, the company created SoftBank Latin America Ventures to support SoftBank Group companies in the region and invest in startups. In 2017, SoftBank plowed $100 million into Brazilian ride-hailing app 99. Last year, the Vision Fund invested $100 million in delivery startup Loggi, betting on Brazil’s rapid e-commerce growth. Son has also been thinking about a second Vision Fund.

Claure has been instrumental in implementing Son’s vision, and the Bolivian-American is a possible successor to Son as SoftBank CEO. This week, SoftBank hired McKinsey & Co.’s Michelle Horn for a newly created role of chief people officer, reporting jointly to Son and Claure.

Bloomberg

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.