SoftBank Group is bullish on Brazil. After announcing its multi-billion dollar Innovation Fund to exclusively invest in Latin America earlier this year, the Japanese investment giant has been putting money into startups in the region left and right.
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The round is nearly triple the $38.8 million combined raised by the Curitiba-based company since it was founded in 2009, according to its Crunchbase profile. MadeiraMadeira raised a $27.3 million Series C in November 2017.
Palo Alto-based Light Street Capital also participated in the latest funding round along with existing investor Flybridge Capital out of Boston, examples of how Latin America as a whole is seeing increasing global investor interest.
According to Reuters, the Brazilian etailer, “which offers around a million home furnishing products,” (think Wayfair here in the U.S.) will use the new capital to “invest in technology, logistics and customer services.”
The company saves money on overhead by not having a lot of inventory. For example, according to Reuters, if a customer orders a piece of furniture off its site, that order goes straight to the manufacturer.
Former professional race car driver Daniel Scandian, CEO and co-founder of MadeiraMadeira, told Reuters his company is looking to expand outside of Brazil into other regions in Latin America at some point. The company is already “break-even,” according to Reuters.
In general, Brazil has been the largest recipient of venture funding in an increasingly hot investment climate in Latin America. Earlier this year, we reported that venture funding in the region’s largest country exploded in 2018 to $1.3 billion, representing nearly two-thirds of all venture money raised in Latin America as a whole last year, according to LAVCA, the Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America. That’s 52 percent more than the $859 million invested Brazil in 2017, and a staggering 369 percent increase from the $279 million raised in 2016, as you can see in the chart below:
At the rate SoftBank is going, 2019 numbers will far exceed those of 2018.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias