Latin America is one of the regions with the highest economic growth in the world. Therefore, it is no surprise that SoftBank, one of the largest conglomerates and venture capital funds in the world, has announced the creation of an investment vehicle of 2 billion dollars for the region.
The Japanese firm will allocate the astronomical figure to invest in new technology companies in Central and South America, specifically Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. The areas in which SoftBank is interested are electronic commerce, digital financial services, health, mobility and insurance.
In addition to this, it is establishing a group called SoftBank Latin America Local Hub, which will partner with companies that are already in SoftBank’s investment portfolio to help them enter the region. It remains to be seen in what city the company will establish its headquarters.
Growing, that is the main thing
“Growing up in Latin America, I witnessed first hand the creativity and passion of the people,” said Marcelo Claure, who has been named CEO of SoftBank Latin America. “There is so much innovation and disruption in the region, and I think business opportunities have never been stronger. The SoftBank Innovation Fund will become a major investor in transforming Latin American companies that are ready to redefine their industries and create new economic opportunities for millions of people, “he added.
A region to look at
It makes a lot of sense for SoftBank to pay attention to Latin America. Not only does it diversify, but it also gives the group an approach to fast-growing startups, by offering a helping hand in their efforts to expand to other regions. Via your network of contacts and existing services.
In addition, Latin America has shown a growth of its middle class, which showed a clear indication that it is a healthy market for technological investment. On the other hand, it has 375 million Internet users and 250 million smartphone users (more than the US). And retail electronic commerce has almost doubled in the last three years, reaching 54 billion dollars in 2018 from 29.8 billion in 2015.
Bank accounts, a chance
Similarly, there is a great opportunity ahead with some 400 million people who do not yet have bank accounts or credit history; and 79% of the population lives in urban areas, but without great access to public transport. Medical care has also been a deficient area, which opens the doors to the construction and expansion of medical and wellness solutions.
SoftBank is a company that has quietly been investing in technology companies. One of the acquisitions that drew the most attention was when, in June 2017, it bought Boston Dynamics, the company that manufactures the amazing Atlas or SpotMini robots.