WNS, Zodius Capital founder gets funding for new media firm
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Neeraj Bhargava, founder of early-stage technology investment firm Zodius Capital and co-founder of BPO company WNS, has co-founded media venture Rainshine Entertainment Pvt. Ltd that would also invest in other digital entertainment startups.

Rainshine is raising $50-75 million (Rs 359-538 crore at current exchange rate) from high net-worth individuals, Bhargava told VCCircle.

He added he would continue as managing partner of Zodius' existing funds.

In 2017, KKR-backed financial services firm Avendus Group had acquired Zodius Capital Advisors. Last year, Avendus had roped in Varun Laul from Providence to manage future funds under the leadership of Shilpa Kulkarni. Existing Zodius funds continue to be led by Bhargava, who will be an adviser and investment committee member in future funds.

At Zodius, Bhargava has led investments in companies including Allygrow, Antuit, Big Basket, Culture Machine, Enki Holdings, MedGenome, Markets & Markets and ZyFin.

Bhargava is the co-founder and was the group chief executive officer (CEO) of business process outsourcing (BPO) services firm WNS. He was also managing partner of investment firm eVentures India and had a stint at consultancy firm McKinsey & Company.

Meanwhile, Rainshine has already picked up 40-90% stakes each in digital media firm Culture Machine, comedian Vir Das-founded media venture Weirdass Comedy, and kids content startup Kinsane Entertainment, Bhargava said.

Kinsane was co-founded in 2017 by Bhargava’s son Saahil. Neeraj Bhargava said he has moved his personal investment in Kinsane to Rainshine to avoid conflicts as Rainshine will be in the kids content business. Last year, Kinsane had raised $2.5 million from Neeraj Bhargava and other angel investors.

Rainshine has invested about $20 million in the three companies mentioned above, The Times of India first reported.

The publication added that Rainshine's investors include former Vodafone chief executive officer (CEO) Arun Sarin and former DreamWorks chief financial officer (CFO) Michael Montgomery, both of whom have come on board as non-executive directors.

Incorporated in June 2018, Rainshine aims to acquire majority or significant minority stakes in digital entertainment companies and work closely with them to build content brands for both Indian and global audiences.

Rainshine was co-founded by Neeraj Bhargava, CFO Mihir Modi and Anuraag Srivastava. Srivastava had stints with Zodius Capital and WNS. Modi was CFO at Zee Entertainment.

Rainshine’s primary focus will be creating content across four genres -- drama, comedy, music and kids/fantasy.

“Rainshine will be a key developer of talent, content and platforms in digital entertainment, an industry ripe for rapid growth and disruption,” said Neeraj Bhargava, chairman and CEO, Rainshine Entertainment, in a release.

“We are currently assessing several deals and will add three to four acquisitions in the near future to comprehensively address our targeted genres and build a new industry leader,” said Bhargava.

With the three announced deals, Rainshine will have teams in Mumbai, Los Angeles, New York, Chennai and Hyderabad.

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