SoftBank elevates Sumer Juneja to managing partner in busiest year for deals in India

SoftBank Vision Fund has made four elevations to the role of managing partner including India head, Sumer Juneja.
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SoftBank Vision Fund has elevated Sumer Juneja to the role of managing partner in the midst of increasing interest in building a portfolio in the country. The year 2021 has been the busiest in terms of number of deals in India for the fund, which has deployed a little over $3 billion across Indian startups.

The $100 billion fund had appointed Sumer to the role of partner and head of India at SoftBank Investment Advisers in 2018. 

Sumer is the second managing partner for the India fund. The position was previously held by Munish Varma since 2017 who is based out of the United Kingdom.

Sumer is on the board of some of the key Indian investments by SoftBank including Ola, Swiggy, Lenskart, and Unacademy. He has been instrumental in changing the investment thesis for SoftBank in India with earlier bets in companies and diversification of portfolio beyond eecommerce and fintech.

Before joining SoftBank, Sumer was a partner with US-headquartered venture capital firm Norwest Venture Partners.

Apart from Sumer, SoftBank Vision Fund has elevated Lydia Jett to the position of managing partner, the first female to be elevated to the role. Other people who have been elevated to the role of managing partner include US-based Vikas J Parekh and China-based Dennis Chang.

In a recent interview, SoftBank Investment Advisers chief executive Rajeev Misra had said that the fund had invested $3 billion across Indian companies this year and might look at deploying $5 to $10 billion across Indian startups in the coming year. He also mentioned that the fund will renew its focus on fintech after its portfolio company Paytm went public. It will also evaluate deals in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) space. According to estimates by SoftBank executives, the fund's investments in the Indian venture capital space for the year made up for nearly 11 percent in terms of value.

In its recently announced second quarter results for FY 2021-22, SoftBank had said that five of its India portfolio companies had seen an up-round. These include edtech major Unacademy, which was valued at $3.44 billion in its recent round in August; business-to-business marketplace OfBusiness, which was valued at $3 billion in a round led by Tiger Global in October; Lenskart, which was valued at $2.5 billion in July in a round led by Temasek; Meesho which was valued at $4.9 billion in a round led by Fidelity and B Capital Group, as well as IPO-bound Delhivery, which raised $100 million from Fedex and $74 million from Lee Fixel led fund, Addition.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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