Less than one year after Upload Ventures spun out of SoftBank’s investment arm, the Latin American–focused investment arm is seeking to raise a $250 million fund, filings show. TechCrunch reached out to Upload Ventures but did not hear back at time of publication.
Reports show that the Mexico- and Brazil-focused firm has already landed an anchor investor: TIM, a Brazilian telecommunications business. The entity has committed to investing $50 million in the growth-stage focused fund over the next two years. This comes after the firm invested through its starter capital of $75 million, per Valor Econômico, and announced its goal of raising $130 million by August 2022. Anchor aside, Upload Ventures still has a long way to go.
Upload Ventures was co-founded by Rodrigo Baer and Marco Camhaji, who, according to a spokesperson for Upload Ventures, left SoftBank to focus on early-stage investments. The duo has invested in 17 companies, only two of which are not in the early-stage space. That said, filings show that the new fund is dedicated to late-stage investments, a focus during the downturn that will be executed by partners Mario Moraes and Carlos Simonsen. Long story short? Upload started with a focus on early-stage investments, and now it’s adding in growth stage as an area of coverage.
The expanded investment capabilities are needed for the region. Data published in late 2022 shows that late-stage funding in Latin America — the area where Upload seeks to invest — has been largely impacted during the downturn. Volumes declined 93% in the third quarter of 2022 from a year earlier, the report asserts. And of the 290 investors focused on late-stage rounds in 2021, only three were active in the third quarter of 2022. The lack of available growth capital may be an opportunity for Upload Ventures, if it can convince more local and international LPs on its vision.
Baer and Camhaji and new venture partner Norberto Giangrande teamed up to create Upload. The team is now 13 people.
For those who recall, SoftBank had another set of departures from its LatAm team. Managing investment partners Paulo Passoni and Shu Nyatta also left SoftBank’s Latin America practice to start their own firm, dubbed Bicycle Capital. The firm is backing growth-stage companies.
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