SoftBank Backs Brazilian Venture Capital Firm Igah in New Fund

Igah Ventures, a Sao Paulo-based venture capital firm, raised a $130 million fund dedicated to Brazil’s upstart companies, with SoftBank Group Corp. as one of its investors.

SoftBank Backs Brazilian Venture Capital Firm Igah in New Fund

The firm already started deploying the money and made six investments, with two others lined up for the coming weeks, said Pedro Sirotsky Melzer, the firm’s co-founder and managing partner. Companies include facial-recognition software provider Acesso Digital and health-tech firm Conexa Saude.

“We’re hoping to have as much as 17 firms in the fund’s portfolio and deliver back to our investors at least four times the capital they invested,” Melzer said in an interview.

Venture capital investments in Brazil reached a record 14.6 billion reais ($2.7 billion) last year, a 35% growth from 2019, according to data compiled by Brazil’s private equity and venture capital association and KPMG. Fintechs were the main targets as lockdowns had consumers embracing digital banking.

SoftBank backed Igah’s new fund after reviewing its past investments, said Paulo Passoni, managing investment partner in SoftBank’s Latin America Fund. “We’ve known Igah’s partners for a long time,” he said.

Igah Ventures was created last year, after two local VC firms merged operations. Among its backers are Rodrigo Xavier, former chief executive officer for Bank of America Corp. in Brazil; Gilberto Sayao, founder of asset-management firm Vinci Partners Investments Ltd.; and Brazilian TV host Luciano Huck.

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