SoftBank Group Corp. doubles its commitment in Latin America.
Today, the Japanese investment conglomerate announces the launch of SoftBank Latin America Fund II, its second private equity fund dedicated to technology companies located in Latin America. SoftBank launches the new fund with an initial commitment of $ 3 billion.
“Fund II will explore options to raise additional capital,” SoftBank said in a statement.
The new fund builds on SoftBank’s $ 5 billion Latin America Fund, which was first announced in March 2019 and was previously called the Innovation Fund with an initial committed capital of $ 2 billion.
According to the firm, the fund generated a net IRR of 85% – SoftBank having invested $ 3.5 billion in 48 companies with a fair value of $ 6.9 billion as of June 30. SoftBank has invested in 15 unicorns from this fund, including proptech. startup QuintoAndar, Rappi, Mercado Bitcoin, Gympass and MadeiraMadeira. Recently, he co-led a $ 350 million Series D round in Argentina’s personal finance management app Ualá.
The company also claims to have “created a significant increase in value” for the portfolio companies, including 4.4x each for Kavak and VTEX; 2.6x for QuintoAndar and 3.5x for Banco Inter (as of June 30).
He has supported businesses across the region, including Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador.
Marcelo Claure, Executive Vice President and COO of SoftBank Group, heads SoftBank Latin America funds. Managing Partners Shu Nyatta and Paulo Passoni lead the region’s investment team. Operating partner Alex Szapiro, also head of Brazil for SoftBank, leads the fund’s operations team.
Combined, the the investment and operations teams total more than 60 people who operate out of Miami, São Paulo and Mexico.
Fund II intends to support technology companies in all countries and sectors at every stage of their development, from seed to public, throughout Latin America, with a focus on e-commerce , digital financial services, healthcare, education, blockchain, and enterprise software, among others.
In a statement, SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son described Latin America as “one of the most important economic regions in the world.”
“SoftBank will continue to drive the adoption of technologies that will benefit hundreds of millions of people in this part of the world,” he said. “There is so much innovation and disruption in Latin America, and I think the business opportunities there have never been stronger. Latin America is a critical part of our strategy – that’s why we’re expanding our presence and doubling our engagement with Marcelo at the helm.
Claure said the success and returns of the SoftBank Latin America Fund “far exceeded” the company’s expectations. Looking ahead, he expects 2022 to be the “biggest IPO year” in the region’s history.
Earlier this year, TechCrunch examined why global investors are flocking to Latin America. At that time Nyatta told me that technology in Latin America is often more inclusion rather than disturbance.
“The vast majority of the population is underserved in almost all consumption categories. Likewise, most businesses are underserved by modern software solutions, ”Nyatta explained. “There is so much to build for so many people and companies. In San Francisco, the venture capital ecosystem is making a bit of a difference in the lives of individuals and businesses that are already living in the future. In Latin America, tech entrepreneurs are building the future for everyone else.