The governments of Spain and Portugal sponsored Amerigo Vespucci's voyages to the New World. The Spanish monarchy sponsored his first voyages in the 1490s, during which he discovered parts of South America, and the Portuguese king sponsored his later journeys.
According to The History Channel, the validity of Vespucci's 1497 voyage is disputed. However, if it did occur, historians contend that it was bankrolled by the Spanish monarchy. A 1499 voyage definitely occurred under the auspices of the same monarchs. Vespucci was the navigator, while the expedition's commander was the conquistador Alonso de Ojeda. On this trip, Vespucci explored the northern coast of South America and Brazil. In 1501, he made another trip to the same coast, sailing as far south as the Río de la Plata and determining that this land was not Asia but a new continent. He may have made a fourth voyage for the Portuguese in 1503, but the evidence is inconclusive.