Marcelo Claure, Softbank’s chief operating officer (COO) and the chief of the conglomerate’s Latin America fund, has resigned in an apparent dispute over compensatory payments.
Despite the departure, the Bolivian entrepreneur will continue to maintain some stake in Softbank’s Latin America fund, and he may even launch similar ventures, according to news reports.
It is believed that Claure was instrumental in launching Softbank’s Latin America fund, which has plowed more than US$3 billion into dozens of tech startups across the region.
Claure was reportedly seeking US$1 billion in additional payment in return for his successful effort to merge US wireless carrier Sprint into T-Mobile and the turnaround in the financial health of WeWork, an office-sharing startup.
Softbank’s Latin America fund played a key role in drawing the attention of global venture capital firms toward the region.
In the past three years, Softbank has invested in more than 45 startups across the region, several of which have attained unicorn status. Brazil’s QuintoAndar, Colombia’s Rappi and Mexican startup Bitso are to name a few.
The LatAm fund has been so successful that it has already grown to US$8 billion in assets following a staggering 85% jump in IRR (internal rate of return) on investments.
Claure’s departure came weeks after he said that he would take at least eight Latin American startups to public in 2022.