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SoftBank introduces a $2 Billion special fund for Latin American tech startups

SoftBank is continuing with its massive tech investment drive. AFter that $100 Billion Vision Fund (which has already invested in over 20 startups globally), the Japanese business behemoth has announced a new ‘Softbank Innovation Fund’. This fund, with a $2 billion capital investment, will invest in tech startups primarily based in the Latin American region. The funding initiative is set to begin in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, covering areas like e-commerce, digital financial services, healthcare, mobility and insurance.

The growing middle class, along with the growing interest in internet and smartphone adoption have been major factors stated by SoftBank to invest in this region. Improvements are needed in the transportation and healthcare sectors, and SoftBank intends to use it’s funding to help develop the region.

SoftBank estimates that the region contributes for 10 percent of the world’s population and 8 percent of the world’s GDP. SoftBank also pointed out that this region has “two times the GDP of India and half that of China,” based on their experience in the investing market in Asia. The region is also showing promising signs, with total number of global investors into startups doubling between 2013 to 2017.

“Growing up in Latin America I witnessed firsthand the creativity and passion of the people,” said Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Latin America, in a statement. “There is so much innovation and disruption taking place in the region, and I believe the business opportunities have never been stronger.

SoftBank has previously also ventured into the Latin American tech region. Ride-hailing company 99 was one of the many companies backed by SoftBank. The Sao-Paulo based company received a $100 million backing in a Series C funding round. It has also invested $100 million into Loggi, a delivery startup in Brazil.