Top 50 Rising Stars 2021 continued (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Rahul Meka, manager of product and R&D, Magna Innovation Ventures

Rahul Meka serves as manager of product and research and development at Magna International’s corporate venture capital (CVC) subsidiary, Innovation Ventures. Magna is a technology company and one of the world’s largest suppliers to the automotive industry.

Josh Berg, director of Innovation Ventures, said of Meka: “Rahul is one of the most promising venture professionals I have come across in my career. He has an unbelievable ability to translate complex technical concepts into product and business realities. He is an absolute star and his future is limitless.”

Meka conducts due diligence on potential investments, particularly in autonomy, new mobility and robotics. He joined Magna in 2015 as a technical business analyst before shifting to the CVC team as a senior analyst about two years later. He was promoted to his current role in July 2020.

“I love that I can help empower people through alliance and unlock Magna’s future product portfolio,” Meka added. “It is powerful to see how a technology developed by a small team can really help a company the size of Magna.”

Meka has worked with the broader team on most of Magna’s publicly disclosed deals. Regarding his achievements, he singled out two aspects: “The first is continuously coming up with creative commercial agreements for mutually beneficial relationships, and the second is turning away a lot of deals while trusting the due diligence process using first principles to remain capital efficient.”

On forging meaningful partnerships with early-stage companies that tend to avoid strategic investors, Meka advised: “Strategic investments can result in a constructive partnership around joint engineering, product-market fit scoping, technology incubation and preferred commercial agreements – essentially a value-based approach to investing outside of capital and a network that traditional VCs offer.”

As Magna increasingly focuses on autonomy, new mobility, electrification and robotics, Meka and the CVC team are continuing their efforts to identify the right opportunities at the intersection of these new fields and the corporate’s existing business.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.