Japan’s SoftBank Group is launching a $5bn fund to invest in technology companies in Latin America, it said yesterday, 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 $2bn and serving as the fund’s general partner.
The group has already shaken up the technology sector with the Saudi-backed $100bn 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 SoftBank’s existing investments.
“There is so much innovation and disruption taking place in the region and I believe the business opportunities have never been stronger,” said Claure, who is executive chairman of SoftBank’s US telecoms unit Sprint Corp and has worked on its planned takeover by Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile.
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