SoftBank announces Latin America’s second-largest fund with at least $ 3 billion

SoftBank announces Latin America's second-largest fund with at least $ 3 billion

SoftBank Group is pledging $ 3 billion to launch a second fund focused on investing in startups in Latin America, the Japanese tech conglomerate said on Tuesday.

After a disappointing period in 2019 that culminated with the WeWork IPO, SoftBank has reappeared as a leading technology investor in the world and is now banking on an industry valued by a growing number of companies. plant seeds.

Venture capitalists invested $ 9.3 billion in Latin America in the first six months of 2021, up from $ 5.3 billion last year, according to a CBInsights report. Brazilian bank Nubank was recently valued at $ 30 billion, making it one of the most valuable venture capital firms in the world. The company is expected to go public soon.

In a blog post in July titled “The Latin America Startup Opportunity,” partners at venture capital firm Sequoia wrote, “The market is an opportunity and the ecosystem is ready and galvanized. Sequoia is an investor in NuBank.

SoftBank’s Latin America Fund II will focus on investing in companies using technologies such as artificial intelligence and recognition deals in e-commerce and digital financial services, as well as blockchain projects. SoftBank has already committed $ 3 billion to the fund, which will operate from Miami, Sao Paulo and Mexico City.

“There is a lot of innovation and disruption in Latin America, and I think the business opportunities there have never been stronger,” Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, said in the statement.

SoftBank COO and former Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure leads investments in this area. The Bolivian native, who is also executive chairman of WeWork, currently heads the $ 5 billion SoftBank Latin America Fund, which launched in 2019.

In recent months, SoftBank has made a series of major investments in an attempt to relinquish its role in the WeWork crisis. Last month, the company invested $ 200 million in the digital fitness tracker Whoop and $ 650 million in Indian electronics technology company Eruditus. He was also involved in a $ 325 million fundraiser for online sports retailer Fanatics.

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