SoftBank-backed Kabir Misra’s fund to make India debut with Meesho, Acko

Kabir Misra, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. Photo: Livemint

RPS Investment Fund, set up by SoftBank Investment Advisers managing partner Kabir Misra, is set to pick up stakes in social commerce startup Meesho and insurance provider Acko, two people familiar with the matter said.

Once closed, these will be Misra’s first investments in India. Mint reported in July that Misra was in advanced talks to set up a fund, which would make early- and mid-stage investments, primarily in the US, India and South-East Asia.

The $200-250 million fund counts SoftBank Group Corp. as the anchor limited partner.

RPS is looking to invest close to $10-15 million in Meesho as part of a larger funding round.

Mint had reported in September that Meesho, one of the fastest growing e-commerce companies in the country, had initiated talks to raise a fresh round of capital.

Russian billionaire Yuri Milner may participate in the proposed funding round.

Meesho last raised $11.5 million in a series B round from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, Y Combinator and Venture Highway. It has received a total of roughly $15 million in capital so far.

The Bengaluru-based firm is one of few new e-commerce startups that have attracted investor interest after venture capital firms’ interest in e-commerce companies waned, starting in late 2015.

Misra’s RPS Investment Fund is also talking to Acko to invest as much as $5 million in the company, the people cited earlier said on condition of anonymity.

Misra didn’t respond to a request seeking comment.

While SoftBank is likely to be on the advisory board of the new fund, it will look at sub-$20 million investments to avoid conflicts of interest with the SoftBank Vision Fund.

Once the fund is closed, Misra will step down from his existing role at SoftBank. Misra, 49, who has been associated with SoftBank for over a decade will continue to work closely with the group.

This article was first published on livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.