15 very important days. The ones that have just gone by.

Aditya Ghosh, the storied IndiGo airlines CEO, has moved to Oyo, the multinational conglomerate funded by SoftBank, which is now morphing from a hotel room aggregator business to just about any piece of real estate that can be put on rent (online) and managed. And Oyo wants to do this not just in India but anywhere investor money and common sense would allow it.

Then, after a hunt of more than two long years, SoftBank has zeroed in on Sumer Juneja as head of India investments. Now, he’s going to oversee spending of more than a billion dollars in the country. That doesn’t happen often.

Abhijit Bose, a financial technology professional-turned-entrepreneur, left his company to head WhatsApp in India. Very rare for a founder/entrepreneur to do that. But as they say in Bengaluru, the silicon valley of India, when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls you for a gig; first, you listen, and then, you take it. Even if it is in Gurugram, Haryana.

And finally, Kaushik Anand, an old Sequoia hand, quit his international gig with Alphabet’s VC company CapitalG. He is now teaming up with old buddies from the American VC Sequoia, who have all quit to start a Rs 2,000 crore ($286 million) fund. Splits happen often, but fund raising of this size and the coming together of the old and the new is rare. The venture capital industry is calling this Westbridge Part II.

Now, on the face of it, all the above changes might seem disparate. You might say, there’s no thread.

But there is. Look closely.

Between them, the above four events will alter the technology-led business and venture capital landscape in India. They will answer questions which have been hanging fire for the longest time now. Can a Rs 2,000 crore fund make money for its investors by investing in tech and non-tech companies? Nobody’s done it before. Not, successfully. Will WhatsApp win in India? Will it be the threat to payments company Paytm* that everyone’s been waiting for? Or will fake news win? Will SoftBank finally merge cab companies Ola and Uber? Will it do e-commerce like Flipkart? Will it create another real-estate search portal like Housing or a hospitality company like Oyo, and who will that be? Can Oyo, a startup from India, really go global? With a business model that actually works, and which can, perhaps, serve as a roadmap for several other Indian startups?

With these four appointments, a lot has been set in motion in the last 15 days. Let’s dive in.

Kaushik Anand

Anand is leaving CapitalG, earlier known as Google Capital. This is Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc’s growth equity fund which invests in technology-led startups across the world.

AUTHOR

Ashish K. Mishra

Ashish edits and writes stories at The Ken. Across subjects. In his last assignment, he was a Deputy Editor at Mint, a financial daily published by HT Media. At the paper, he wrote long, deeply reported feature stories. His earlier assignments: Forbes India magazine and The Economic Times. Born in Kolkata. Studied in New Delhi – B.Com from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. Works out of anywhere, where there is a good story to be told.

View Full Profile

Subscribe to read this story

The Ken is the only business subscription you need. Questions?

 

Premium

  • 5 original and reported longform business stories every week
  • Access to ONLY India edition
  • Close to 250 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters
  • 4 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to ONLY Southeast Asia edition
  • Close to 200 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to all paywalled stories since March 2020
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters

Rs. 2,750 /year

$ 120 /year

India Edition
Subscribe Subscribe
Most Asked For

Borderless

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories

Rs. 4,200 /year

Subscribe
 

Echelon

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories
  • Bonus annual gift subscription
  • Priority access to all new products and features

Rs. 8,474 /year

Subscribe
Or

Questions?

What kind of subscription plans do you offer?

We have three types of subscriptions
- Premium which gives you access to either the India or the Southeast Asia edition.
- Borderless which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions
- Echelon which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions along with a bonus gift subscription

What do I get if I subscribe?

The Premium edition gives you access to stories in that edition along with any five subscriber-only newsletters of your choice.

The Borderless and Echelon subscription gives you complete access to The Ken across editions and unlimited access to as many newsletters as you like.

What topics do you usually write about?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics. We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

Our specialised subscriber-only newsletters are written by our expert, award-winning journalists and cover a range of topics across finance, retail, clean energy, cryptocurrency, ed-tech and many more.

How many newsletters do you have?

We are constantly adding specialised subscriber-only newsletters all the time. All of these are written by our team of award-winning journalists on a specialised topic.

You can see the list of newsletters that we publish over here.

Does a Premium subscription to your Indian edition get me access to the Southeast Asia edition? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

We recommend the Borderless or the Echelon Plan which will give you access to stories across both editions.

Do you have a mobile app?

Yes! We have a top-rated mobile app on both iOS and Android which allows you to read on-the-go and has some amazing features like the ability to bookmark stories, save on your device, dark mode, and much more. It’s really the best way to read The Ken.

Is there a free trial?

You can sign up for a free account to experience The Ken and understand our products better. We’ll send you some free stories and newsletters occasionally, and you can access our archive of previously published free stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

The vast majority of our stories, articles and newsletters can be accessed only by a paid subscription.

Do you offer any discounts?

Sorry, no. Our journalism is funded completely by our subscribers. We believe that quality journalism comes at a price, and readers trust and pay us so that we can remain independent.

Do you offer refunds?

No. We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Just write to us at [email protected] with details. We’ll help you out.

I have a few more questions. How can I reach out to you?

Sure. Just email us at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter.