SoftBank announces second Latin America fund with at least $3 billion

WeWork Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure throughout an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin at WeWork headquarters in New York City on February 10, 2020.

David A. Grogan | CNBC

SoftBank Group is committing $3 billion to kickstart a second fund centered on investing in start-ups in Latin America, the Japanese tech conglomerate introduced Tuesday.

After a dismal stretch in 2019 that culminated within the scrapped IPO of WeWork, SoftBank has reemerged as a serious tech investor throughout the globe and is now bolstering its guess on a area that is seeding a rising variety of useful corporations.

Venture traders poured $9.3 billion into Latin America within the first six months of 2021, in contrast with $5.3 billion all of final 12 months, in line with a report from CBInsights. Brazil’s Nubank was lately valued at $30 billion, placing it among the many most respected venture-backed corporations on the planet. The firm is anticipated to go public quickly.

In a weblog submit in July titled “The Latin American Startup Opportunity,” companions at enterprise agency Sequoia wrote that “the market opportunity is there, and the ecosystem is ready and galvanized.” Sequoia is an investor in Nubank.

SoftBank’s Latin America Fund II will deal with investing in corporations using applied sciences like synthetic intelligence and scout offers in e-commerce and digital monetary providers in addition to blockchain initiatives. SoftBank has already dedicated $3 billion to the fund, which is able to function out of Miami, Sao Paulo and Mexico City.

“There is so much innovation and disruption taking place in Latin America, and I believe the business opportunities there have never been stronger,” SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son stated within the launch.

SoftBank working chief and former Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure leads investments within the area. The Bolivia native, who can also be govt chairman for WeWork, heads the preliminary $5 billion SoftBank Latin America Fund, which launched in 2019.

In latest months, Softbank has led a string of huge investments because it goals to depart behind its position within the WeWork disaster. Last month, the corporate led a $200 million funding in digital health tracker Whoop and a $650 million spherical in Indian ed-tech firm Eruditus. It additionally participated in a $325 million financing for sports activities e-retailer Fanatics.

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