SoftBank's Claure announces investment in Mexican startup Kavak

FILE PHOTO: SoftBank Corp. placard is prepared during a ceremony to mark the company's debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Japan December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank will invest in Mexican used car platform Kavak, the group’s chief operating officer Marcelo Claure said on Monday, adding to SoftBank’s growing portfolio in Latin America.

“We are proud to join with and invest in Kavak Mexico,” Claure, who oversees SoftBank Group Corp’s Latin America investments, wrote on LinkedIn. “The company is truly transforming the use of mobile devices in the automotive market in Mexico.”

Reuters reported in August that SoftBank was in advanced talks to invest in the three-year-old startup, after announcing earlier in the year a $5 billion fund to focus on Latin America.

Kavak Chief Executive Carlos Garcia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kavak is SoftBank’s second known investment in Mexico, after the conglomerate invested about $20 million in payments firm Clip.

Kavak is poised to complement SoftBank’s other investments.

SoftBank led a roughly $17.6 million funding round in Brazilian used-car platform Volanty in August with Argentina’s Kaszek Ventures, which is also an investor in Kavak.

SoftBank has also pumped $1.5 billion into China’s Chehaoduo Group, which owns a leading used-car site.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Julia Love in Mexico City; editing by Bill Berkrot