Venture capital investment in Latin America has tripled from last year's record to more than $15 billion as investors invested in startups in areas such as financial technology, online shopping, and real estate.
Regions once overlooked by the venture capital industry are racking up impressive investment totals in recent quarters. African startups were once long ignored by the global VC scene, with totals for the continent's upstart technology companies representing a fraction of the funds made available to other regions' next-generation companies.
After a dismal stretch in 2019 that culminated in the scrapped IPO of WeWork, SoftBank has reemerged as a major tech investor across the globe, and is now bolstering its bet on a region that's seeding a growing number of valuable companies.
Local VCs are raving about the human capital in the region, but for some global investors, the appeal of Latin America extends beyond the talent to the general populace.
While most of this capital has been directed toward Brazil and Mexico, this surge is starting to have an effect on startups in the region's smaller markets.
Latin America's impact investing market is still emerging, with assets under management of only about $4.7 billion, it's seeing rapid growth.
Surging venture capital investment in Latin American startups has financed international expansion across the region and beyond, as business models that do not require large amounts of capital have helped many firms avoid silos common in the region.
It's not easy to raise growth-stage capital in Latin America, but it's getting easier. As startups begin to flourish in the region's largest markets, available funding is evolving to suit the needs of these maturing companies.
VC funding in Latin America catapulted to new heights in 2018. Startups located across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and more have secured nearly $2.5 billion since the beginning of 2018.
Japan's SoftBank Group is launching a $5 billion fund to invest in technology companies in Latin America, ramping up its tech ambitions beyond its huge Vision Fund.