Japanese conglomerate SoftBank plans to invest $3 billion in Latin America during its early stage of capital deployment, according to S&P Global. SoftBank has recognised rising opportunities in ecommerce, fintech, and insurtech propelled by the coronavirus pandemic.
In recent times, the bank has deepened its focus in Latam with investments in startups across sectors. For example, it has made investments in Colombia-based delivery startup Rappi, Brazil fitness company Gympass and Argentine fintech Uala, media reports said.
That said, the SoftBank Investment Fund got clearance from Tokyo to commence using its remaining $3 billion. This will allow the bank to capitalise on the several opportunities in the Latin American market in a post-pandemic setting.
The bank invested between $100 million to $150 million into each of 17 firms and two venture capital firms to date. It is reported that Softbank is eyeing approximately 650 firms across the region. Last year, the bank had invested $1 billion in Rappi and $1.6 billion in DiDi. It even became the largest shareholder of Uber after its initial public offering.
It is largely focused on Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico in the Latin America region. In September, the bank collaborated with Oyo Latam in an effort to meet its expansion strategy in the region. It is reported that SoftBank’s Latam fund invested $75 million into Oyo’s regional business. The pandemic has pushed Oyo to lay off 500 employees, lower operating expenses and sell office spaces in Brazil, media reports said.