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SoftBank, Miami, inversión

Tech Investor SoftBank Searches for Massive Expansion of Space in Miami

The Japanese multinational, which is one of the largest investors in technology worldwide, is supporting the expansion of the technology industry in Miami, which wants to become a sort of Silicon Valley 2.0 of the country.

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The technology sector continues to show signs of growth in the city of Miami. The most recent one is related to SoftBank Group Corp. which is looking for no less than 100,000 square feet of space in the Magic City. This was confirmed to The Wall Street Journal by an executive of SoftBank itself and some real estate agents.

The Japanese multinational company, which is one of the largest investors in technology worldwide, is supporting the expansion of the technology industry in Miami, which wants to become a sort of Silicon Valley 2.0 of the country.

The city’s plan is to attract large investors through significant legal certainty, a flexible tax regime, and a competitive business environment. In that sense, Miami is not only positioning itself to compete against California in the technology sector but is also preparing to battle New York for dominance in the financial sector.

The Magic City’s ambition is gigantic, as it now has the opportunity to seriously compete against San Francisco or New York due to economic growth, improved quality of life, diversity and competition, and a pleasant tax climate.

SoftBank, Miami, inversión
SoftBank also announced at the beginning of the year an important investment plan for startups seeking to invest in Miami (Flickr).
The SoftBank factor

That is why the presence of companies like SoftBank, which is betting on Miami in this battle for dominance in the technology sector, is important. According to WSJ, the company now occupies about 14,000 feet of space in the city, so the expansion they are looking for is huge.

This is not the only sign that SoftBank is betting on Miami. In February, the multinational announced the $100 million Miami Initiative, a plan that consists of investing in small Startups that want to start operations in the city in the state of Florida.

“The SoftBank Miami Initiative is a $100 million funding commitment dedicated to supporting and building the community of technology start-ups in The Magic City,” the company explained on its website.

“Miami is on the cusp of becoming a major technology hub. The start-up ecosystem is quickly amassing talent and resources, as blue-chip technology and investment firms continue to announce their decisions to relocate to The Magic City,” the statement said.

“At SoftBank, Miami is close to our hearts. Our $5 billion Latin America Fund was born in Miami and is headquartered here. We are excited to play a role in helping the city become an epicenter of technology and business innovation for decades to come,” it continued.

SoftBank is not the only company that is seeing potential in Miami to host major spaces in the technology sector.

According to the WSJ, “Microsoft Corp. is on the prowl. The Seattle-based tech giant, which has a Latin American sales group based in the region, has been looking for space in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood, according to real-estate and tech industry executives.”

The financial sector is also throwing winks at the Magic City. Blackstone Group Inc, Starwood Capital Group and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, three large financial firms, are looking at leasing office space in the city. Several of them have already decided they will.

One of Miami’s strongest attractions is the adaptation to telecommuting. A Bloomberg article explained that, as a result of the success of remote work during the pandemic, members of the Goldman Sachs management team were convinced “that they can move more jobs out of the New York area to reduce costs” and, in addition, avoid the tax regime that complicates New York companies so much. And the Magic City is a great option to kill two birds with one stone.

These positive signals have been stimulating the market for some time now. For example, “Chewy Inc., the online pet-product retailer that is based in the Miami region, raised over $1 billion in an initial public offering in 2019… REEF Technology Inc., which transforms underused urban spaces into food-delivery kitchens, Covid-19 testing centers and other hubs for goods and services. REEF last year announced a $700 million fundraising from investors including SoftBank’s Vision Fund.”

In this way, Miami is attracting more and more investors to expand the technology industry. To get an idea, in 2020 Miami received $972 million in venture capital, a record for the city, which reached the maximum amount of money injected by this type of investment. On the other hand, the Miami metropolitan area received close to $2 billion in venture capital investment.

It is worth noting that the phenomenon of technological neighborhoods is also developing. The Related development, for example, is located in Wynwood, which lies north of downtown Miami and is “becoming popular among tech firms for its mixed uses and gritty but hip vibe.” In fact, Spotify’s offices will be in this neighborhood.

Vale recalcar que también se está desarrollando el fenómeno de los barrios tecnológicos. El proyecto de Related, por ejemplo, está ubicado en el barrio de Wynwood que yace en el norte del centro de Miami.

El WSJ reseñó que Wynwood «se está haciendo popular entre las empresas tecnológicas por sus usos mixtos y su ambiente arenoso pero moderno”. De hecho, las oficinas de Spotify estarán en este barrio.

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