I don't know that they did. The New World was discovered as part of a larger Iberian maritime project to explore the Atlantic. Iberia, being at the extreme western edge of Europe, was getting Asian luxury goods after they had passed through multiple hands, and experienced large markup. Iberians wanted to cut out Muslims middlemen by seeking a sea route to Asia, but they also wanted to cut out Christian middle men farther east, like the Italians. In most of the 15th century, the Iberians had concentrated on exploring south, along the coast of Africa (in part because they, correctly, believed that Asia was too far away to reach by sailing across the Atlantic). Spain agreed to fund Columbus on a mission to reach Asia by sailing East and that lead to the discovery of America.