SoftBank launches $3b fund to invest in technology companies in Latin America

Photo: Bloomberg

SoftBank Group Corp on Tuesday launched a $3 billion fund to invest in technology companies in Latin America in a bid to build on the success of its initial fund for the region, which has spent most of its capital.

In a statement, the Japanese conglomerate said it plans to invest in listed and private tech companies, adding the fund may raise additional capital in the future.

SoftBank‘s renewed bet on Latin America comes as venture capital is booming in countries such as Brazil and Mexico, and follows a decision to pause new investments in China after a regulatory crackdown on tech companies.

“There is so much innovation and disruption taking place in Latin America, and I believe the business opportunities there have never been stronger,” SoftBank Group’s chairman Masayoshi Son said in the statement. “Latin America is a critical part of our strategy.”

SoftBank‘s first $5 billion Latin American fund was launched in 2019 by executive vice-president and Chief Operations Officer Marcelo Claure at a time when no deep-pocketed investor had signed big checks for startups in the region.

It has invested $3.5 billion in 48 companies from sectors ranging from education to finance and logistics, which are now valued at $6.9 billion.

Most of its portfolio companies remain private.

Still, companies such as Banco Inter SA, which SoftBank bought into when it was already listed, and e-commerce software platform VTEX, which went public in July, helped the fund post gains in the last quarter.

COO Claure, who will oversee the new fund, said returns from the initial fund have exceeded SoftBank‘s expectations.

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.