SoftBank has been on a tear in Latin America. The Japanese investment conglomerate just announced it has launched its second Latin America-focused fund with a $3 billion capital commitment from the company that may grow as the fund explores “options to raise additional capital,” according to SoftBank. The vehicle follows hot on the heels of SoftBank’s debut Latin America-focused fund, announced in March 2019 with an initial $2 billion in committed capital.
It’s easy to see what all the fuss is about. Led by Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group Corp., the outfit’s roughly four dozen employees — who operate out of Miami, São Paulo and Mexico City — have helped SoftBank identify and fund 48 startups into which it has plugged $3.5 billion and, according to the firm, which feature a combined (on paper, notably) net IRR of 85%.
Among the so-called unicorns that SoftBank has backed — and, in some cases, helped drive into unicorn territory — are QuintoAndar, Rappi, Mercado Bitcoin, Gympass and MadeiraMadeira. Recently, it also co-led a $350 million Series D round in Argentine personal finance management app Ualá.
It’s so busy that it just brought aboard two new managing partners at the end of last week to help out with all that investing.
Amazingly, overseeing investments in Latin America is just one of the many roles that Claure, a native of Bolivia, plays for SoftBank. (He also oversees a vast portfolio of SoftBank’s operating companies, including Arm, Brightstar, Fortress, SB Energy and Boston Dynamics; he oversees SoftBank’s ownership in T-Mobile US; and he serves as executive chairman of WeWork, which he ran as interim CEO after founder Adam Neumann was forced to resign.) Still, one senses that it may be his greatest passion right now, and we’re thrilled to say that he’ll be joining us at Disrupt on the morning of Thursday, September 23rd, to talk all about it.
If you care about where SoftBank is shopping in Latin America right now — or generally want to understand better what sparked the torrid pace of investing there that the industry has seen over the last 18 months — this is a conversation you won’t want to miss.
The show is coming up fast. Get your ticket now for less than $100 before the price goes up in a few short days; we’ll see you there.