Japan-based Softbank Group’ Vision Fund has elevated its India head Sumer Juneja to the role of managing partner. Alongside Juneja, investors Lydia Jett, Vikas Parekh and Dennis Chang have also been promoted to managing partner positions.
Juneja joined SoftBank from Northwest Venture Partners in 2018 as partner and head of India. An active investor in Swiggy before SoftBank, he has since then added Meesho, Eruditus and foodtech to the Vision Fund portfolio.
He has also been credited for setting up the team in India and sectoral diversification within the country from ecommerce and ride-hailing startups to edtech and enterprise tech solutions.
Previously, Juneja was actively involved in NVP’s investments in Quikr and the National Stock Exchange. He had also served on the boards of Bharti Infratel, IRB Infrastructure Developers, and IL&FS Transportation Networks, among others. A London School of Economics and Political Science alum, he has also worked with Goldman Sachs’ Asian Special Situations Group.
Jett, who will be SoftBank’s first woman managing partner, has been responsible for leading Vision Fund to invest in both rounds in Flipkart. She has also led other Softbank investments in Indonesia-based Tokopedia (now, merged with GoJek) and South Korea’s ecommerce startup Coupang, which was listed on NASDAQ this year.
Parekh, who will be based out of the US, is responsible for SoftBank’s restructuring in WeWork in 2019, exiting chipmaker ARM in 2016, and enterprise backing in the country. In China, Chang led SoftBank’s investments in workout app Keep, grocery delivery platform Dingdong Maicai among others.
The announcement comes on the heels of SoftBank India planning to diversify its portfolio to B2B SaaS, fintech and edtech avenues with a possible fund size of $10 Bn. SoftBank claims to be banking on globally expandable B2B businesses working on HR and sales quality. In 2021 alone, it invested over $3 Bn in India — major names include Meesho, Mindtickle, Zeta, OfBusiness, re-investment in Flipkart among others.
Vision Fund CEO Rajeev Misra, during Bloomberg’s 6th edition of the “India Economic Forum 2021, said that SoftBank was looking to back two other fintech companies as financial inclusion is a must in India — its current investments in the sector include Paytm and Policybazaar. Apart from Eruditus, in India, SoftBank also backs edtech unicorn Unacademy.