Softbank is making moves in Latin America.
SoftBank Group has launched a $5 billion fund to bankroll technology start-ups in Latin America. It follows closely in the footsteps of bullish rivals, like Brazil’s Monashees, that are hoping to profit from a bonanza of new LatAm investment opportunities in e-commerce, digital financial services, healthcare, mobility, and insurance services. In addition, Softbank announced plans for a Softbank Latin America Local Hub to help portfolio companies find sound investments in the region.
“Latin America is on the cusp of becoming one of the most important economic regions in the world, and we anticipate significant growth in the decades ahead,” says Masayoshi Son, Softbank’s chairman and CEO. Softbank has already committed $2 billion. The $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund will co-invest.
The Latin American venture capital market has been flying high. Last November Monashees launched a $150 million vehicle, its eighth, while its Brazilian rival Indicator plans to add a second fund in the summer. Private equity and venture investment in the region nearly doubled to $4.3 billion in 2017 and is expected to post significant gains for 2018, according to trade lobby LAVCA.