Bloomberg — SoftBank Group Corp. sees Colombian delivery app Rappi Inc. going public as soon as the end of this year or early next if global markets stabilize.
“Companies in a mature stage like Rappi were on a path to becoming public” until the recent market turmoil, said Juan Franck, managing partner of the SoftBank Latin America Fund, which has invested in Rappi and many other startups in the region.
The window shut with markets cooling amid interest rate increases, he said in an interview in Mexico City. But when it opens up again, which Franck estimates could happen by the end of the year or in early 2024, “at that moment, I believe many of our companies that are on a clear path to profitability will consider a public listing.”
The list also includes Kavak, Creditas, Madeira Madeira, Unico and Clip, he said.
A Rappi spokesperson said an IPO is “not something in the pipeline today.”
Back in 2021, Rappi co-founder Juan Pablo Ortega had targeted the first half of 2022 for an IPO, though the company later said the statement reflected his “personal feelings” and didn’t represent the company’s plans.
The delivery app was valued at $5.25 billion in 2021. It’s also backed by Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Tiger Global Management.
Franck co-leads the Latin America Fund with Alex Szapiro and joined SoftBank in 2019, when now-former Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure launched the fund. Franck previously worked at Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd in Mexico City and Barclays PLC in New York.
SoftBank has already invested about $7.4 billion of a total $8 billion it plans to invest in the region as part of its Latin America fund. When it spends the remaining $600 million, Franck said the fund he manages will have access to $50 billion allocated in the Vision Fund II.
Silicon Valley Bank’s failure earlier in March is a warning message in a context of high volatility, he added.
“We still have to see how the market digests this in the coming weeks and stay alert because no one can say it won’t happen again,” he said. “But Latin American entrepreneurs are resilient— they’ve lived through this and aren’t too worried about market volatility, especially because they’re building companies for the long haul.”
--With assistance from Ezra Fieser
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