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The japanese SoftBank chases more deals with the Mexican start-ups

MEXICO CITY (reuters) – the japanese SoftBank Group Corp (9984.(T) is in advanced talks to invest in Mexican car platform, Kavak, and financial technology company, Konfio, several people familiar with the matter said, underscoring the importance of the company in Mexico to pour money into Latin America.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group, Corp, is seen at the head office of the company in Tokyo, japan, June 30, 2016. (REUTERS photo/Toru Hanai/File Photo

SoftBank is in discussion with an investment in Kavak, a web-based platform for the buying and selling of second-hand cars, said the three men, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussions were not open to the public.

The discussions are well advanced with the Konfio, which will help small-and medium-sized enterprises loans, two of the people said.

SoftBank declined to comment, and Konfio do not respond to it. Kavak, Chief Executive, Carlos Garcia wrote in an e-mail, and that SoftBank has been meeting with many of the startup founders in Latin America.

“We are meeting potential investors, and to build relationships for when the time is right. However, on this side, and on the day of today, we do not have any investment in the news and to share it,” Garcia said.

Since the announcement of a $5 billion Innovation Fund will focus on Latin America, March, SoftBank, has been extensively scouted a Mexican start-ups.

SoftBank’s approach reflects the growing interest on the part of investors in technology companies in Mexico, the second-largest Latin American economy, the startup scene was left in countries such as Brazil and Argentina.

The Japanese company said that the financial technology is one of the priority investment areas, already highlighted, that is, looking at the City of Mexico, on the basis of the Konfio, which was founded in the year 2014.

Speaking at a conference to be held in paris in May, and SoftBank Investment ner and Shu Nyatta described Konfio as a start up that helps small firms to be excluded from the traditional banking system.

“It’s about bringing the services to be provided by technical staff who do not have access to them,” he said.

SoftBank made its first investment in Mexico earlier this year, the payments firm Clip, which is plunking down about $20 million.

A lot of US venture capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, are taking a more serious look at Mexico, said Daniel Green, who is a partner in the Silicon Valley law firm of Gunderson Dettmer, who advises startups in Latin America.

“The market is having to play catch-up to SoftBank. … The analysis of the dozens and dozens of investments,” Green said.

Mexican start-ups have struggled to raise capital, but they turned arrival, this has to change, said as The Charvel, an investor in the MatterScale Ventures in San Francisco, california.

“It has to be someone that is genuinely happy they turned out really fill the ‘funding gap’ need to be in a healthy eco-system of entrepreneurs,” he said.

SoftBank has been known to invest in similar start-ups in different regions, and to facilitate co-operation, and mergers and acquisitions, and the group seems to be following the playbook, either.

Kavak, which was set up in 2016, it could be regarded as an addition, they turned to other investments.

The consortium, led to approximately $17.6 million funding round in the Brazilian used car, the platform Volanty earlier this week, with Argentina’s Kaszek Ventures, which is also an investor in Kavak.

SoftBank is also pumped $1.5 billion into China-Chehaoduo Group, which is an industry-leading used cars website.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Julia, with Love, in Mexico City; Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Dave Graham

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