SoftBank group to invest $500 million in venture capital funds in Latin America

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

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp is planning to invest $500 million in venture capital funds in Latin America as part of a previously announced plan to invest $5 billion in the region, its managing partner in Brazil, Andre Maciel, said on Friday.

Reuters previously reported that SoftBank was in talks with venture capital firms in Latin America to invest in their funds, in a move likely to speed up spending of the $5 billion regional venture capital fund launched in March.

Maciel, who participated in an event in Sao Paulo, declined to name the venture capital funds SoftBank has invested in.

SoftBank invested in 10 companies, such as Colombian delivery-app Rappi and Brazilian lender Banco Inter SA, using proceeds from its Latin America fund.

Besides directly acquiring stakes in companies, the fund’s mandate allows it to invest in venture capital funds and to help companies it owns in other countries to expand to Brazil.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman