Japanese multinational SoftBank has invested $200 million in the parent company of Brazilian crypto exchange Mercado Bitcoin.
The Largest Crypto Investment in Latin America
SoftBank is betting big on Mercado Bitcoin.
The firm’s Latin America Fund announced a Series B investment in the Brazilian crypto exchange Thursday. The investment is the largest for crypto in Latin America’s history, putting Mercado Bitcoin’s parent company, 2TM Group, at a valuation of $2.1 billion.
With crypto adoption in the region booming, Mercado Bitcoin will use the funds to help meet the growing demand for crypto services. Over the last year, Mercado Bitcoin’s client base has grown to over 2.8 million, with 700,000 new users since the start of 2021.
Along with expanding Mercado Bitcoin, 2TM Group is launching Bitrust, the first digital custodian in Latin America, subject to regulatory approval.
The funds will be used to invest in infrastructure and scale the business, a press release notes. Commenting on the investment, Roberto Dagnoni, executive chairman and CEO of 2TM Group, said:
“I am thrilled to have the SoftBank Latin America Fund support to help us to realize our vision, thanks to the unparalleled combination of their financial expertise, in-depth industry experience, and extensive regional footprint.”
Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group, added that there’s “incredible potential” for cryptocurrencies in Latin America. “We believe winning in Brazil is critical for 2TM Group and are excited to take part in this incredible journey,” he said.
Investment in Latin America is gaining momentum as national leaders express enthusiasm for Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Should the interest in crypto continue to gather pace, companies will be incentivized to invest early to avoid getting left behind. Last month, El Salvador became the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender. Other Latin American countries look to be following El Salvador’s example. Paraguay’s Deputy of the Nation Carlos Antonio Rejala Helman also says the country plans to legislate on Bitcoin sometime in July.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned BTC and ETH.