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Former Dentsu India head Sandeep Goyal to back digital media startups with $15 mn kitty

Sandeep Goyal

Sandeep Goyal

Sandeep Goyal, chairman of Mogae Media and former chairman of Japanese advertising major Dentsu in India, is planning to invest Rs100 crore (around $15 million) in digital media and mobile innovation startups in India.

Goyal is scouting for digital startups in India that have built brands, but are now struggling to raise funds for re-engineering or re-launch.

“They (digital startups) now need an injection of both cash and rock solid experience for a good chance to survive. Outside of Mogae Media, some of my ultra high net-worth friends and I will partner in these investments,” he said in a statement.

Goyal also added that an alumnus of Harvard Business School and former country head of a telecom company is expected to join him in this initiative.

In addition to digital media and mobile innovation verticals, the fund will make late-stage investments in the service sector, especially startups in food and beverage, logistics, e-commerce, m-commerce and cab pick-up space (local mobility) with mobile enabled platforms.

“Analytics, mobile ad serving platforms, programmatic buying on the mobile, mobile fulfillment and mobile targeting are areas that Mogae Media is keenly focused on. Any acquisitions or investments in this space are of interest to us,” Goyal said.

In January 2011, Japanese advertising major Dentsu Inc. took complete control of its India joint ventures – Dentsu Communications Pvt. Ltd., Dentsu Marcom Pvt. Ltd and Dentsu Creative Impact Pvt Ltd – by buying the 26% stake held by partner Sandeep Goyal through an entity called Mogae Consultants Pvt Ltd. Goyal then resigned from his position as chairman of Dentsu India Group and from the boards of the three advertising agencies.

He then launched digital marketing company Mogae Media in 2012 along with his wife, Tanya Goyal. Goyal is a former group CEO of Zee Telefilms and former president of ad agency Rediffusion DY&R.

The Goyals are also shareholders in television channel FoodFood TV with celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

Last year, Goyal had formed a joint venture (JV) with German startup Zeotap to create a programmatic advertising platform for targeted advertising on smartphones in India.

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