SoftBank Group Corp. is redoubling its commitment to Latin America.
Today, the Japanese investment conglomerate announces the launch of SoftBank Latin America Fund II, its second private investment fund dedicated to technology companies located in LatAm. SoftBank is launching 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 is based 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, that fund has generated a net IRR of 85%, and SoftBank has 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 that fund, including tech startup QuintoAndar, Rappi, Mercado Bitcoin, Gympass, and MadeiraMadeira. He recently co-led a $ 350 million Series D round on Argentine personal finance management app Ualá.
The firm also claims to have “created a significant increase in value” for the portfolio companies, including 4.4 times each for Kavak and VTEX; 2.6x for QuintoAndar and 3.5x for Banco Inter (as of June 30).
He has supported companies throughout the region, including in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and Ecuador.
Marcelo Claure, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of SoftBank Group, leads SoftBank Latin America funds. Managing partners Shu Nyatta and Paulo Passoni lead the region’s investment team. Operating partner Alex Szapiro, also SoftBank’s director for Brazil, leads the fund’s operations team.
Combined, the The investment and operations teams total more than 60 people who operate from Miami, São Paulo and Mexico City.
Fund II intends to support technology-enabled companies in all countries and industries at every stage of their development, from seed to public, throughout Latin America, with a focus on e-commerce, financial services digital, healthcare, education, blockchain, and enterprise software. among others.
In a statement, SoftBank president 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 technology 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 fundamental part of our strategy, that is why we are expanding our presence and doubling our commitment 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 “largest year of IPO” in the history of the region.
Earlier this year, TechCrunch analyzed why global investors flocked to Latin America. At that moment, Nyatta told me that technology in LatAm is often more about inclusion instead of breaking off.
“The vast majority of the population is neglected in almost all consumer categories. Similarly, most companies lack the services required for modern software solutions, ”explained Nyatta. “There is a lot to build for so many people and companies. In San Francisco, the business ecosystem slightly improves the lives of people and businesses already living in the future. In LatAm, tech entrepreneurs are building the future for everyone else. “