Japanese venture capital fund Softbank has teamed up with the Inter-American Development Bank as it digs into Latin America to search for investment opportunities.
The Japanese group is hoping to leverage the IDB’s regional knowledge and contacts, as well as share its technological know-how in return for the assistance.
Together, they may also invest in startups, in addition to helping a few entrepreneurs scale up operations.
“Together, we are leveraging financing, knowledge, and connections to enhance support to startups and the innovation ecosystem at large, which is an important step forward for the IDB Group as it works to drive innovation that promotes more inclusive growth in the region,” said Irene Arias, CEO of the IDB Group’s innovation laboratory, IDB Lab.
As part of this partnership, the IDB Group will provide advice to SoftBank on environmental, social and corporate governance practices, in addition to strategic connections with its trusted network of public and private sector stakeholders in the region.
The IDB Lab claims to have invested more than US$300 million in various LatAm startups over the past three decades.
Softbank, which is in recent months pumping millions of dollars into promising startups in the region, has now launched a new business arm called ‘Tech Hub’, which will help regional startups it has funded to forge strategic partnerships among themselves and scale up operations.
“This strong partnership will promote better information sharing across the public and private sectors, advance important education initiatives, and lead to new investment opportunities for the region’s most promising technology companies,” said Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International.
Softbank has set up an exclusive fund for investing in Latin America, and has already sunk money in several prospective enterprises, including Colombian delivery app Rappi, fintech Creditas and digital bank Inter SA.