Sophia Wood is a Venture Partner at Magma Partners. Sophia is also the co-founder of LatAm List, an English-language Latin American tech news source.
More posts by this contributor
After investing nearly $2 billion of its Innovation Fund in Latin America in 2019, SoftBank announced this month that it would add an additional $1 billion into the fund to continue supporting tech startups across the region. While the Japanese investor faces the challenge of raising a second global fund after its Vision Fund, SoftBank is still investing heavily in Latin America.
One of its early Latin American investments — and the first in Colombia — Ayenda Rooms, is performing particularly well, raising $8.7 million from Kaszek Ventures this month. Ayenda is the local version of Oyo Rooms, one of SoftBank’s biggest bets in India, which has looked to expand into Mexico despite a financial crunch last month. In fact, the fund recently came under scrutiny by The Wall Street Journal for funding similar delivery competitors Uber, Rappi and Didi, suggesting a conflict of interest.
Most recently, SoftBank invested $125 million in Mexico’s lender, Alphacredit, and they reportedly plan to continue investing in that niche. The firm currently oversees more than 650 companies in Latin America, largely concentrated in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, and plans to invest $100-150 million in 17 firms and two VCs by the end of the year. To date, over 50% of SoftBank’s investments have been into Brazil, most of which exist in the fintech sector.
Mexican neobank Stori raises $10 million Series A
In a self-fulfilling prophecy, Mexico’s neobank market became all the more competitive this month with the addition of a new player: Stori. Within the past few months, both TechCrunch and Business Insider pointed to Mexico’s neobank market as the one to watch in Latin America as startups like Albo, Klar and Nubank battle for market share. In February, digital bank Stori joined the conversation with a $10 million Series A from Bertelsmann Investments (BI) and Source Code Capital, along with an existing investor, Vision Plus Capital.
This round of funding, led by Chinese investors, is part of a growing trend of foreign funds waking up to the Latin American startup ecosystem, Asian VCs in particular. Tencent has invested in Brazil’s Nubank, whic
Read More From Publisher