SoftBank in talks to invest in Latam venture capital funds

REUTERS/Issei Kato

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp is in talks with venture capital firms in Latin America to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in their funds, a move likely to speed up spending of a $5 billion regional venture capital fund, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.

So far, SoftBank has only announced direct investments using the fund’s resources, injecting capital into Colombian delivery app Rappi, Brazilian lender Creditas, gym membership app Gympass and Mexican payments firm Clip, for instance.

However, SoftBank‘s Latin America fund also plans to invest in venture capital funds as a way to further foster innovation in the region, the sources said on condition of anonymity. The strategy will position SoftBank closer to startups that may eventually grow big enough to receive the group’s direct investments.

SoftBank executives told fund managers it intends to deploy roughly $500 million in five to 10 funds, one source said.

At least two venture capital investors have already received SoftBank resources: Brazilian firm Valor Capital and Argentina’s Kaszek Ventures, which recently announced it had raised $600 million in fresh capital and has invested in 70 Latin American startups.

Kaszek and Valor, which is still raising money for a new fund, declined to comment on the matter.

SoftBank is still in talks with other asset managers to invest in their funds. One of them is Atlantico, a five-month-old venture capital firm founded by Julio Vasconcellos, a co-founder of Canary, a Brazil-focused investment firm with stakes in 44 startups.

Vasconcellos did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the matter.

SoftBank has also reached out to Monashees, a Brazilian venture capital firm that was one of the early investors in 99, a taxi app acquired by China’s Didi Chuxing for around $1 billion, as well as bike rental app Yellow, fintech Neon and logistics firm Loggi.

However, Monashees did not reach an agreement to receive SoftBank funding, according to one of the sources.

Monashees declined to comment on the matter.

Reuters

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.

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.