Japan’s SoftBank Invests US $1 Billion in Colombian Delivery Startup Rappi
This year, Softbank made the largest single investment transaction in a Latin American tech startup, announcing a US $1 billion investment in Rappi, the popular Colombian online on-demand delivery platform.
Based in Bogotá, Colombia, the on-demand delivery startup has taken the region by storm, attracting a record amount of venture capital funding in mere months. This is the beginning of a new round of explosive growth as SoftBank, the Japanese telecom giant and prolific Silicon Valley tech investor, has confirmed a US $1 billion investment in the business.
The king-sized financing comes two months after SoftBank announced its Innovation Fund, a new pool of capital committed to spending initially more than US $5 billion on the growing tech ecosystem in Central and South America.
SoftBank plans to transfer the Rappi investment to the Innovation Fund upon the fund’s establishment. For now, the SoftBank Group and affiliated Vision Fund will each invest US $500 million in the company.
The latest round, the largest ever for a Latin American tech startup, brings Rappi’s total raised to date to a whopping US $1.2 billion. The company was valued at more than US $1 billion last year with a US $200 million financing.
Rappi is among few venture-backed “unicorns” based in Latin America. São Paulo-based Nubank, a fast-growing fintech startup, garnered a US $4 billion valuation last year with a US $180 million investment.
Softbank's investment is considered one of the first mega investment projects under the administration of President Iván Duque's Government and in turn, as an anchor investment, which seeks to promote the arrival of new foreign capitals to different productive sectors in Colombia.
The arrival of Softbank's investment in Colombia, was supported by ProColombia, the entity in charge of promoting foreign direct investment, non-traditional exports, tourism and the Country Brand of Colombia.