The multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Tokyo, Softbank operates a Latin America Fund that invests in startups focused on identification technology, e-commerce, education, fintech, and now cryptocurrency solutions. The Softbank Latin America Fund revealed on Thursday that it invested $200 million in the crypto-asset exchange Mercado Bitcoin.
Mercado Bitcoin’s $200M Capital Raise: Softbank Funds One of the largest Series B funding rounds in LATM
The Softbank Latin America Fund has invested in Mercado Bitcoin’s parent company 2TM Group. The announcement highlights that it is one of the largest Series B funding rounds in Latin America and Softbank’s largest crypto investment in the Latin American continent. The investment brings 2TM Group’s unicorn status to $2.1 billion and the eighth-most valuable fintech firm in Latin America.
Mercado Bitcoin aims to leverage the financing to continue scaling operations and invest in more infrastructure. The company’s announcement emphasizes that over the last 12 months, Mercado Bitcoin has gathered 2.8 million clients. “Between January and May 2021, approximately 700,000 new customers signed up to use Mercado Bitcoin’s services,” the company’s announcement detailed. Additionally, Mercado Bitcoin’s trade volume in 2021 has seen massive growth as well “surpassing the total for its first seven years combined.”
“Mercado Bitcoin has become a global leader in the cryptocurrency space. We’ve been impressed by 2TM Group’s understanding of the Brazilian ecosystem, as well as their contribution to the evolving regulatory framework in Brazil,” Marcelo Claure, CEO of Softbank Group International and COO of Softbank Group said in a statement. The Softbank executive further added:
Cryptocurrencies have incredible potential in Latin America. We believe winning in Brazil is critical for 2TM Group and are excited to take part in this incredible journey.
Softbank Group and the Conglomerate’s Portfolio Companies Have Vested Interest in Fintech and Blockchain
Fintech companies and crypto solutions have gathered mainstream attention in Latin America and the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Latin America made its debut on the Brazil Stock Exchange last week. Softbank Group and the firm’s Latin America Fund have been growing portfolio companies based on these trends. The Softbank Latin America Fund also backs fintech firms such as Credits, Cortex, Inter, Loggi, Konfio, and Ualá.
The multinational conglomerate Softbank has been into crypto and blockchain technology for quite some time. In October of 2019, Softbank announced it was working with Tbcasoft, and IBM on a cross-carrier blockchain technology project. Softbank also worked with Tbcasoft when the firms created a blockchain-based “Identification & Authentication” Working Group the same year.
One of the Tokyo-based company’s portfolio firms is also leveraging crypto-asset solutions. Just recently, in mid-April 2021, the Softbank-backed global space provider We work recently revealed it was accepting cryptos and keeping digital assets on its balance sheet.
Mercado Bitcoin’s financing from Softbank follows the company’s Series A round in January 2021, which was co-led by Parallax Ventures and G2D/GP Investments. Mercado Bitcoin aims to use the funding to “accelerate growth across 2TM Group’s portfolio.” 2TM Group’s portfolio also includes the crypto wallet provider Meubank and it hopes to launch a fund called the “Bitrust” in the near future.