Monday, June 9

Jerry Rao, Angels Back Ad Veteran Pranesh Mishra’s Marketing Startup

Former Mphasis CEO Jerry Rao and eight other angel investors have invested Rs 6.5 crore (or about $1.5 million) in a marketing startup founded by Pranesh Misra, one of the senior-most executives of advertising agency Lintas India. Mishra, who spent close to 30 years at Lintas, has set up a marketing consulting, data analytics and insight mining company called Brandscape Worldwide, reports The Economic Times.Mishra joins a host of senior corporate executives who have left their jobs to pursue entrepreneurial roles. Prakash Bajpai, head of broadband at Reliance Communications, has also reportedly left the company to start a broadband venture, which is funded by Goldman Sachs and Oaktree Capital Management. George Zacharia had quit Yahoo to found a managed IT services company with the backing of Sequoia Capital India. Rao, who is also a member of Indian Angel Network, has been making angel investments. He has invested in Bangalore-based JuriMatrix, a legal process outsourcing outfit. Rao is also an advisor in India of New Enterprise Associates, a US based venture capital firm. The names of other angels in Brandscape are not known.According to ET, Misra is the majority shareholder in the new venture, while Rao and other angels will have a significant stake. The company, to be based in Mumbai, will consider VC funding at a later stage. Mishra thinks there is an opportunity for a company like his since most of the companies do not have the wherewithal or the expertise to extract the relevant marketing insights from a lot of marketing data they already have. Brandscape plans to go global too with offices in the US, the UK, Singapore and Japan.Mishra, who belongs to IIM Ahmedabad 1977 batch, was earlier President and COO of Lowe India. He was once tipped to succeed Prem Mehta as the chairman of Lowe India. As an aside, Lowe was acquired by IPG in 2007, and is now headed by R Balakrishnan (better known as Balki).Rao, who is also a member of Indian Angel Network, has been making angel investments. He has invested in Bangalore-based JuriMatrix, a legal process outsourcing outfit. Rao has also joined as an advisor in India of New Enterprise Associates, a US based venture capital firm.

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