As the first step, Softbank has tapped Claudia Woods, former CEO of Uber Brazil, to lead WeWork’s operations in the region.
The Japanese conglomerate has earned both name and fame in Latin America, having invested nearly US$3 billion in various tech startups, including the likes of Rappi, Banco Inter, and Gympass, in only three years.
Analysts say Softbank is ideally positioned to leverage its contacts and resources for the success of WeWork. Softbank’s regional chief Marcelo Claure said the venture capital fund is “the perfect partner” for WeWork in Latin America.
“As part of our process to select exceptional companies for our SoftBank Latin America portfolio, we saw great potential to leverage both our capital and operating expertise, pulling together a compelling offer for this joint venture,” said Claure, who is also serving as WeWork’s Chairman.
The co-working space vendor arrived in Latin America with a facility in Mexico City in 2016. Today, its footprint in the region has expanded to more than 90 buildings across 18 cities, with its members increasing to 60,000.
“Over the past four months alone, the Latin American market has seen a double-digit increase in occupancy to nearly 50% as companies in the region turn to flexible solutions,” the vendor stated in a press release.