Co-heads of SoftBank’s flagship Latin America private equity fund have left the group to launch their own venture capital firm focused on startups in the region, according to information originally reported by Bloomberg on Sunday.
Shu Nyatta and Paulo Passoni, managing partners of the $8 billion fund who have co-led the strategy since its launch in 2019 alongside Alex Szapiro, have left the firm as SoftBank weighs the possibility of expanding the strategy, which invests in promising Latin American startups. , up to $2 billion, Bloomberg reported citing a person familiar with the matter.
A spokesman for the Japanese banking group did not immediately return a request for comment.
“Paulo and I are incredibly excited to be entrepreneurs,” Nyatta Told Bloomberg. “We are launching our own fund to continue investing in the region’s most special businesses,” he added.
Miami-based Nyatta joined SoftBank in August 2015, after launching and managing the group’s $100 million Opportunity fund. He was a founding member of SoftBank’s Silicon Valley investment team and previously held positions at JP Morgan and McKinsey.
Passoni, also based in Miami, joined SoftBank in 2019 and previously worked for more than seven years at New York-based hedge fund Third Point focused on capital structure in Latin America.
Following their departures, Szapiro, Brazilian director of São Paulo-based SoftBank, is promoted to a more senior role at the fund this week. Juan Franck, a Mexico City-based senior investor, will also be promoted to a new role at the fund, Bloomberg said.
News of Nyatta and Passoni’s departures follows news of SoftBank’s chief operating officer Marcelo Claure, who left the group earlier this year over a pay dispute with the founder and chief executive. of the company, Masayoshi Son.
Following its exit, the Latin America Fund’s compensation structure for its managers, which previously amounted to around 15-20% of its profits, was reportedly changed.
According to Bloomberg, Claure had both helped found and oversee SoftBank’s Latin America fund, alongside other duties. He had spent more than nine years at SoftBank, also working on the company’s Opportunity fund.
Last year, SoftBank launched a second version of the Latin America fund with an initial capital commitment of $3 billion following the success of the first strategy which was also led by Claure.
Technology-heavy strategies have invested in startups across the region, from Brazil to Mexico, and include grassroots holdings such as Rappi, Avenue, Nubank and Betterfly.