SoftBank’s Kabir Misra’s fund to buy into Meesho, Acko

New Delhi: 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. Mintreported 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.

SoftBank’s Kabir Misra’s fund to buy into Meesho, Acko

“Raising funding is a continual process for any start up, as is the case with Acko. We are in discussion with multiple investors but there is no conclusive information to share at this stage. We will make a formal announcement if there is any development.” said an Acko spokesperson.

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.

source: livemint


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