SoftBank Group unveiled a major drive into Latin America, with plans for a $5 billion investment fund led by Sprint executive chairman Marcelo Claure (pictured) and a new unit charged with helping its other businesses break into the market.
The $5 billion SoftBank Innovation Fund, rumoured in the media earlier this year, will back companies across Latin American focusing on the sectors of e-commerce; digital financial services; healthcare; mobility; and insurance.
SoftBank committed an initial $2 billion to the project, but did not disclose the identity of other existing or potential investors.
Claure will oversee the fund and take on the role of SoftBank Latin America CEO. This is in addition to existing responsibilities as COO of SoftBank Group, CEO of SoftBank Group International and his Sprint role.
The company said Latin America provided significant growth opportunities for “rapid technology deployment at scale” given the fast pace of economic development in the region.
Its new venture will run separately from the $100B SoftBank Vision Fund, although it noted there would opportunities for the two to make joint investments.
In addition to the fund, the company unveiled the SoftBank Latin America Local Hub, which will provide a platform for its existing companies to enter the region.
SoftBank Group chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said: “Latin America is on the cusp of becoming one of the most important economic regions in the world, and we anticipate significant growth in the decades ahead.”
Claure added: “There is so much innovation and disruption taking place in the region and I believe the business opportunities have never been stronger. The SoftBank Innovation Fund will become a major investor in transformative Latin American companies that are poised to redefine their industries and create new economic opportunities for millions of people.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back