Rebright Partners, a startup fund backed by leading Japanese internet companies and focused on investing in startups in Southeast Asia, announced today that it has formed a new fund called Rebright Partners II Investment Partnership, looking to enhance investments in consumer-focused mobile-first or mobile-only startups in India. The fund is valued 2.4 billion yen or $20 million, following the “zeroth” fund Batavia Incubator launched in 2011 in partnership with Indonesian financial conglomerate Corfina as well as the first fund launched in 2011.
In population, India is expected to exceed China and become the world’s most populous country within 15 years. Regarding the number of smartphone users, India will overtake the U.S. to rank in as the second largest market globally in 2016 (according to eMarketer, December 2014). E-commerce providers in India, such as Flipkart, Amazon India, and Snapdeal, are seeing a good growth, while leading U.S.-based investment firms like Google Capital and Tiger recently established their local offices in India at the beginning of this year.
Among Japanese leading companies, Softbank announced last year that they would strengthen massive investment efforts in India, investing in Snapdeal, taxi-hailing app Ola, and Locon Solutions, the company behind India’s leading property search portal Housing.com.
Upon forming the new fund, Rebright Partners appointed Brij Bhasin, who previously worked at Bangalore-based accelerator GSF, as an investment manager in India while inviting former Deloitte Tohmatsu employee Takumi Kawai as an investment manager for the Southeast Asian market.
In India, Rebright Partners has invested in four local startups including Tookitaki (big data analysis) and Newsinsorts (curated news app) thus far, while also considering to invest in several e-commerce app startups.
According to Rebright Partners’ Takeshi Ebihara, Japanese mobile apps like Smartnews or Mercari are doing well not only in Japan but also globally, so Rebright Partners wants to bring these experiences from the Japanese mobile industry to startup ecosystems in India as well as Southeast Asia to help them grow further and faster.
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy