SoftBank launches $5 billion LatAm fund

- REUTERS, TOKYO

Mar 9, 2019-

Japan’s SoftBank Group is launching a $5 billion fund to invest in technology companies in Latin America, it said on Thursday, ramping up its tech ambitions beyond its huge Vision Fund.

The new fund will be headed by SoftBank’s Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure, it said in a statement, with the Japanese technology conglomerate committing an initial $2 billion and serving as the fund’s general partner.

The group has already shaken up the technology sector with the Saudi-backed $100 billion Vision Fund, making splashy investments in late-stage start-ups such as ride-hailing company Uber and shared offices provider WeWork Cos.

The launch of the Latin America-focused SoftBank Innovation Fund will extend Bolivian-born billionaire Claure’s responsibility beyond managing SoftBank-owned companies like chip designer Arm. The fund will invest across the region, targeting much the same sectors as SoftBank’s existing investments, including e-commerce, fintech and healthcare.

The new fund, the size of which will give it a strong presence in the region, will also help existing portfolio companies to expand in Latin America, SoftBank said.

SoftBank’s previous bets in the region include a $100 million stake in ride-hailing business 99.

Published: 09-03-2019 09:50

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