Sep 14, 2021 - Economy

SoftBank to launch $3B fund for Latin American tech companies

 Photo illustration of the SoftBank Group logo on a smartphone.

Photo illustration of the SoftBank Group logo on a smartphone. Photo Illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

SoftBank announced Tuesday it will create a $3 billion private investment fund focusing on technology companies in Latin America.

Why it matters: The launch of the SoftBank Latin America Fund II comes after the Japanese investment giant started a $5 billion fund in the region two years ago that became one of Latin America's most active venture capital players.

Details: The new fund intends to invest in technology-enabled companies at every stage of their development, from seed to public, SoftBank said.

  • SoftBank Latin America Fund II will seek prospective investments of firms that are utilizing emerging technologies and AI.
  • The fund especially wants to focus on focus on e-commerce, digital financial services, healthcare, education, blockchain, and enterprise software.

What they're saying: “Latin America is one of the most important economic regions in the world, and SoftBank will continue to drive technology adoption that will benefit hundreds of millions of people in this part of the world," SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said in a statement.

  • Son said Latin America continues to see innovation and disruption and he believed business opportunities are strong in the region.

The intrigue: Marcelo Claure, the SoftBank COO, who leads the first Latin American fund will also oversee the second investment, the company said.

  • "We expect that 2022 will be the biggest IPO year in Latin America’s history. Now is the time for us to double down on our commitment to the region," Claure said.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva: SoftBank not only has a history of backing high growth startups in Latin America but it’s also a fan to very large markets like China and Latin America.

  • "In the latter, it also has the advantage of being one of the few currently able companies and is willing to write large checks."

Don't forget: SoftBank has a long history in Latin America. In 2000, it created SoftBank Latin America Ventures to support the group’s companies in the region and invest in startups, Bloomberg reports.

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