The investment arm of the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank has announced the creation of a new fund for Latin America. It is called Upload Ventures.
This fund will have a different strategy from that of the SoftBank Latin America Fund (LatAm Fund), which has been financing a good number of the Latin American unicorns including Rappi, Nubank, Merama and Clip. Instead of allocating capital to these types of growth-stage companies, as Latam Fund I and II did, Upload Ventures will focus on early-stage startups.
The new fund will be led by Rodrigo Baer, who was at Redpoint Events, Norberto Giangrande and Marco Camhaji. The latter two were hired by SoftBank last year to lead investments in early-stage companies still within the LatAm Fund when it was headed by Marcelo Claure. Claure stepped down from the COO role earlier this year.
Upload Ventures will consist of a fund of US$300 million focused on the initial investment of US$100 million annually. It will have an average ticket between US$1 million and US$10 million. By comparison, the LatAm Fund has committed US$8 billion to the region in its two stages; US$5 billion in Latam Fund I and US$3 billion in II.
Baer, Camhaji and Giangrande will have the support of a team of 12 people from the LatAm Fund who will be operating from Brazil and Mexico.
Companies that were in the initial stage within the LatAm Fund will migrate to Upload Ventures. Some of them are Abstra, Arch, Birdie, BotCity, Digibee, D-Uma, Indaband, Medway, Neivor, Nilo, Salu and Worc.
According to information from SoftBank, the creation of a fund exclusively focused on early-stage companies in Latin America is due to the fact that in less than a year, the firm has received more than 1,100 proposals from companies like this in the region.
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