SoftBank Aims to Invest $1 Billion in Latin America This Year

SoftBank Group Corp. aims to invest about $1 billion from its Latin American private equity fund this year, as the Covid-19 pandemic helps to speed up growth from technology companies in the region.

“We are looking at many opportunities right now, including agricultural tech firms,” the fund’s manager Paulo Passoni said.

The $5 billion fund already invested $2.3 billion in companies such as Banco Inter SA, Rappi SAS and Gympass. The global equities rally helped swell the value of those holdings to $3 billion as of Dec. 31, Passoni said. And more is to come: Banco Inter stock has already raised more than 60% this year, bringing the fund’s stake there to more than $1 billion.

About 70% of the fund’s investments will continue to be in Brazil, he said. But he also sees opportunities in Mexico, Argentina and Colombia.

SoftBank in Latin America has also joined the blank-check company frenzy, with plans for a $250 million U.S. initial public offering of a special purpose acquisition company for the region. Passoni declined to comment on that transaction.

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