Japanese conglomerate SoftBank’s Latin America fund has plowed US$200 million into Brazilian crypto exchange Mercardo Bitcoin, according to a Reuters report.

Fast facts

  • The investment is SoftBank’s largest in Latin America to date, and brings the valuation of Mercardo’s parent company, 2TM Group, to US$2.1 billion, making it the eighth-most valuable fintech firm in the region.  It comes as regulatory crackdowns in countries including Japan have led to significant crypto investment outflows in recent weeks. 
  • Softbank’s investment is the second significant investment in the region in recent months after Mexico-based Bitso, the largest crypto platform in Latin America, raised US$250 million in a series C funding round in May. Following that capital raise, Bitso’s valuation reached US$2.2 billion, making it the first unicorn in the region.
  • Latin America has recently seen major crypto developments, with the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund making its debut on Brazil’s stock exchange last week, and with El Salvador becoming the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender.