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Contxto – The newest prospect coming from SoftBank and its US$5 billion Innovation Fund entails potential partnerships with FMCG (fast-moving consumer good) companies in Mexico. This means that the Japanese megafund may be collaborating with retailers like Femsa and Bimbo, as well as startups, in the near future.
Companies like Femsa and Bimbo aren’t startups by any means. Nonetheless, the technology conglomerate still aspires to assist these “entrenched players” with modernizing their business processes.
“The Bimbos and Femsas of the world all have this opportunity,” said Shu Nyatta, a North America-based SoftBank representative, at a recent Mexico City conference. “To take their distribution, relationships, advantages, add some technology through partnerships or in-house and transform their business.”
On that note, it appears as though the Innovation Fund could be available to a variety of regional players. This may come as a surprise to some. However, Nyatta stresses that big partners will fall under the same criteria as startups.
“We’re not biased against these incumbents with advantages,” said the official. “We’re happy to partner where it makes sense. But they have to have the right progressive thinking and the right technology.”
Companies like Bimbo is a well-established company using technology to rebrand itself. As one of the world’s largest bread producers, it covers an expansive market across Mexico, even in the most secluded corners. In terms of innovation, the firm was one of the first to incorporate biodegradable packaging for its products.
Moreover, Femsa is present with around 18,000 Oxxo convenience stores throughout Mexico. Thanks to them, consumers can pay utility bills or online merchants using cash at Oxxo. Femsa has also collaborated with Amazon to allow shoppers to pay with cash or pick up packages at one of its retail locations.