SoftBank is busy at the moment with its $100 billion Vision Fund. While the group is taking huge bets with up and coming startups, it has launched another entity to invest in the growing tech market of Latin America.
SoftBank just announced a commitment to invest $2 billion in tech startups across the Latin American market with its Innovation Fund. The group will initially target the countries of Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile with its investments. It aims to put up money across sectors such as healthcare services, mobility, insurance, digital financial services, and e-commerce.
SoftBank will also create a group called the SoftBank Latin America Local Hub whose sole mission will be to help companies which are already under the portfolio of this investment group to break into the region.
This latest development is the brainchild of Marcelo Claure, who was recently named as the CEO of SoftBank Latin America. The other duties of Marcelo Claure include the COO of SoftBank Group Corp., while also being the CEO of SoftBank Group International. He will continue to remain in his previous capacities while taking up the new challenge of heading the Latin American region of SoftBank.
Claure recently stated: “Growing up in Latin America I witnessed firsthand the creativity and passion of the people,” as he went on to add that the Latin American region has seen the emergence of innovation disrupting the region while the business opportunities in the region continue to become stronger. He also believes that the Innovation Fund of SoftBank will usher in a new era for startups in Latin America and will go on to add economic opportunities for millions of people in the region.
The latest development is the first of its kind from SoftBank, as the group is not known to focus its efforts in a single region before. Although the group had made big bets on the Indian market previously, this is the first time SoftBank has formally established an investment group to help the companies which are already under the portfolio of the group to expand its operations in the region.
SoftBank is yet to reveal where it will establish its HQ in the region. The group might want to establish its headquarters in cities where it has already based its operations.
Latin America presents a huge opportunity for SoftBank as the growing middle-class population in the region represent a huge pile of disposable income that the group can capitalize on. More than 50 million people in Latin America have entered the middle-class segment, and the number is set to keep growing in future years. The region is known to be of the fastest growing markets for tech products and services.
Current estimates of Softbank put the Latin American region as representing 10 percent of the global population while taking up 8 percent of the global GDP. That means that its estimates put Latin America as twice the GDP of India and half the GDP of China.