Business

Neobanks could be Softbank's next target in Latin America

Rappi, Gympass, and the recent unicorn Loggi already received investments from Softbank

Fintechs could be Softbank's next target in Latin America
  • Focused on the unbanked population, fintechs are growing fast and winning the Latin American market
  • The biggest venture capital in Latin America, Softbank, might be looking closely to these companies for the next

Latin America has the third highest smartphone penetration in the world, behind North America and Europe, but 70% of the Latin Americans still being unbaked. Considering this scenario isn’t that hard to see why the region tasted a financial revolution in the past few years.

According to the PwC Fintech report, there are 224 fintech companies until 2018 just in Brazil. The most successful is Nubank, that has completely changed the game for banks in the country with more intuitive platforms, no taxes, and a specific strategy for mobile services.

Latest news about Nubank:
– “Nubank hits 10 million clients in Brazil and overcomes Itaú in Google searches
– “Argentina is the next target of Brazilian fintech Nubank

According to Daily Fintech, Nubank is leading the neobank’s market, but they aren’t the only company surfing this wave in Latin America. In Mexico, there is Albo, which offers a digital banking experience, and in Argentina there is Ulala.

Read more about the Argentinian Ulala:
– “New players in Latin America are attracting Chinese giants – Now it’s Ualá’s time

All these innovative solutions cannot go unnoticed from Softbank. According to Daily Fintech, there is a negotiation of a 1 billion fund going on between Softbank and Nubank. It happening or not, the fact is that these financial solutions are winning the market and the international funds looking into this market has turned the game to the next level for neobanks and fintechs in Latin America.

Why Softbank is betting on Latin America

Marcelo Claure, Softbank's COO
Marcelo Claure, Softbank’s COO. Photo: Finantial Times

In an exclusive interview for Exame, Marcelo Claure, the Softbank’s COO and responsible for the Latin America Fund, told why the region was chosen by the Japanese company. He pointed out that making some researches and analyzing market data, their realized that the lack of capital was one of the main obstacles to growing a startup in Latin America.

“The lack of capital is damaging for entrepreneurs. The owners of businesses in Latin America were conditioned to have less ambition because of resource scarcity. One of our main challenges is to see entrepreneurs growing, but with numbers that are too small for the Latin American market”, the COO’s said in an interview for Exame.

The Softbank represents now the biggest venture capital acting in Latin America and, according to Claure, they have already analyzed more ten 100 companies until finding the right ones to keep investing.