Rajarshi Sahai, who earlier led bike-sharing start-up Ofo India’s public policy and communication strategy, has joined Zurich-based venture capital firm Ennea VC as its newest partner. Ennea, which has multiple portfolio investments in India, plans to invest in the country’s urban mobility segment in the near future, according to Sahai.
Ennea is a venture capital and growth advisory firm with offices in Zurich, London, Berlin, and Munich. Sahai will work from Ennea’s Amsterdam and India offices to cover European and Indian markets.
Sahai brings more than 14 years of experience in urban planning, smart cities and sustainable transport to the table. At Ennea, he will manage the firm’s mobility-related advisory, fundraising, mergers and acquisitions and other venture capital projects.
“We see India a country that will be having some of the biggest challenges and the homegrown/indigenous solutions to mobility problems, now and in the future… India is key to our mobility roadmap,” Sahai said in an e-mail interview.
In his last assignment, Sahai served as the general manager of Ofo and public policy director for Ofo India. Ofo’s India operations were shut down following multiple reports of cash crunch and layoffs. The company, however, clocked 1 million rides in just ten weeks of operations across Pune, Coimbatore, Indore, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Delhi.
Prior to Ofo India, Sahai worked with TRAFI, a Lithuania-based public transport app that helps commuters plan their daily travel.
During his tenure in TRAFI, as its executive director for India, he was responsible for building the business from scratch and driving the company’s business development, marketing, operations and partnerships with government and large private sector players.
Apart from this, Sahai has been a key member of developing the Smart Cities projects in India, which include building frameworks for leading strategy consulting firms like Infosys and ICF International Inc.
“The addition of Rajarshi to our firm reflects our growth strategy for 2019 and our intention to expand into one of the world’s largest markets, ultimately adding mobility-related services that are in high demand in the VC industry,” said Jan Valentin, founder and general partner of Ennea Capital Partners in a statement.
Founded in 2016 by Valentin, ex-managing director at Kayak Europe and CEO at Travel24.com AG, Ennea Capital Partners makes investments in travel, mobility, media, and blockchain start-ups.
In India, Ennea has invested in products like Chandigarh-based Comparometer, an online price comparison portal, and in Delhi-based Hooklabs, which provides product consulting marketing. Ennea has also invested in Zurich-based Kaizen.vc which has investments in India as well.
This article was first published on livemint.com