SoftBank completes Latin American tech investment fund with $ 3 billion


SAO PAULO, Sept. 14 (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) on Tuesday launched a $ 3 billion fund to invest in technology companies in Latin America with the aim of building on the success of its initial fund for the region, which spent most of its capital.

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

SoftBank’s renewed bet on Latin America comes as venture capital booms in countries like Brazil and Mexico, and follows a decision to halt new investment in China after a regulatory crackdown on technology companies. Read more

“There are so many innovations and disruptions in Latin America, and I think the business opportunities there have never been stronger there,” SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son said in the statement. “Latin America is an essential part of our strategy. “

SoftBank’s first $ 5 billion Latin American fund was launched in 2019 by Executive Vice President and COO 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 in sectors ranging from education to finance and logistics, which are now valued at $ 6.9 billion.

Most of the companies in his portfolio remain private.

Nonetheless, companies such as Banco Inter SA, in which SoftBank bought out when it was already listed, and the e-commerce software platform VTEX (VTEX.N), which went public in July, have helped the fund. to post earnings in the last quarter.

COO Claure, who will oversee the new fund, said the original fund’s returns exceeded SoftBank’s expectations.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl; edited by Richard Pullin

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