Japanese company Softbank will launch an exclusive venture fund for Latin American startups in 2019. Softbank has already invested large capital in LatAm. Softbank Group will purchase stakes in prospective business startups.
Group’s Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure will manage the fund. Claure is a Bolivian with extensive contacts in Latin America.
Million dollar fund
Softbank will soon announce the fund, according to Bloomberg. Japanese multinational is likely to destine $1 million to the fund.
Softbank is not new in Latin America, but its investments are very small compared with its operations in other parts of the world. It has offices in Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City.
Softbank entered the region in 2017 when it invested $100 million in 99, a Brazilian startup. After a year, it invested a similar amount in Loggi, another Brazilian company.
Venture capital investments in Latin America exceeded $1 billion for the first time in 2017. Even three new tech companies gained unicorn status.
All these investments came from Softbank’s Vision Fund. This time it will act as a venture capital fund.
Claure came into Softbank’s fold in 2013 when the Japanese company acquired a majority stake in Brightstar, a telephone distributor. He took the challenge of reforming Sprint, a US telecommunications operator. He became Softbank COO last year when Sprint was sold to T-Mobile USA.