News

In Conversation With 3 Leading Investors
March 11,2015
Slide1
We like to be deeply involved operationally in the startups we invest in. We are passionate about company-building and like to support entrepreneurs in areas ranging from product, strategy, hiring, branding and digital marketing, fundraising, etc. This cannot be done effectively if we follow the typical VC strategy of taking a high number of bets (20+) in a given fund; hence, we plan to invest our most recent $100 million fund across only 8-9 investments. We are very selective and once we invest, we are betting that working together with the entrepreneur, we are going to navigate various challenges to make the venture a success. We start with an investment of $3-6 million in Series A funding, and also continue investing in follow-on rounds. We look for technology-driven businesses where data, product and the user experience are a source of competitive differentiation. We spend a lot of time – in some cases, as many as 2-3 days a week with a given company – to strengthen our relationships with our startups and bring tangible value to the table. Talent is especially a key area, and we also love to hear from highly driven, high caliber professionals who are looking to be part of disruptive startups. We are not shy about taking larger Series A bets very early – in rare cases, even a concept – if we believe in the entrepreneur and the idea. The two biggest lessons have been that (a) it’s all about the right entrepreneur, and (b) actually putting oneself in the shoes of an operator and appreciating (hands-on) the day-to-day struggles makes one a much better investor, versus just playing with powerpoints and spreadsheets. I recently heard one of my colleagues in the industry say that this business is not about billion-dollar companies but about looking for the billion-dollar entrepreneur. We’ve talked about Snapdeal as a “deal that got away”. When Kunal Bahl (co-founder, Snapdeal) first came to Sandeep Murthy (who I work with), Snapdeal was a very different idea, which pivoted from a couponing business to a daily deal business to inventory owned e-commerce, finally to a marketplace. Kunal’s agility and tenacity was a key factor in continuously adapting that got him this far. Similarly, InMobi’s Naveen Tewari, who we backed early on to create the world’s largest independent mobile ad network, is a billion-dollar entrepreneur who could aggressively expand internationally and maintain a culture of product excellence. We like to be quite informal and approachable, and can be reached through our website. We like to be active on social media. Most of the serious opportunities come through our networks. We spend a lot of time building a genuine relationship with the founding team. We do a lot of independent work on each market, also pooling in our global experience and networks. We talk to customers, suppliers, employees, etc. as we judge the scalability and long-term value in a business. The actual formal process is short and simple, since we are a relatively small and flat team. It’s the golden age of tech startups in India. The whole theme of creating tech-enabled brands is appealing to us whilst owning the end-to-end experience. We are excited about a whole category we call “engagement apps”, which are seeing exponential growth. This includes mobile-first models in gaming, dating, video, news, reviews. We’ve also looked at healthcare and financial services quite extensively. Read More

Recent News
Slide1

Techcrunch 2016 ‘s list for holiday gifts.

Photojojo’s iPhone lenses are made of aluminum and outfitted with thick, high-clarity glass, the website claims. Lenses include wide and macro, fisheye, telephoto, super fisheye and a polarizer. Made for the social media addict.

Read More
Slide1

Turning Your Vacation Photos Into Works of Art

Parabo Press is a breeze to use: It’s clean and easy to read, your options are straightforward, and there are no annoying upsells. Prints from its Risograph machine, which uses soy-based ink and is described by Parabo as having “a cult following since its invention in 1980s Japan.”

Read More
Slide1

Furlenco strikes a co-branding partnership with Airbnb

“We are creating solutions specifically for the Indian rental community. For Aibnb, we are creating a separate set of packages, more attuned towards travellers, which will allow the hosts to pick and choose from these packages and furnish their house,” Ajith Karimpana

Read More
Slide1

Should it be called Design in India?

The Make in India programme needs design, in order to succeed in its fundamental endeavour. Melorra has integrated design and manufacturing with processes, people working in manufacturing are involved in product design concepts as a result delivery times are almost half those of competitors.

Read More
Slide1

Red Chillies Entertainment partnered with Furlenco for ‘Dear Zindagi’

Red Chillies Entertainment partnered with Furlenco for its forthcoming Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt starrer ‘Dear Zindagi’. Furlenco and Red Chillies have also launched a TVC and an exclusive ‘Dear Zindagi’ store for the movie buffs.

Read More
Slide1

The role of sub-culture in innovation in India

Sub-cultures drive the products that emerge out of tech startups. Sub-cultures push the envelope on thinking about how society might develop. The ones that interest investors are those with the potential to indicate where the world could go next.

/
Read More
Slide1

Furlenco raises $30 mn in fresh funding

It is a combination of 50% equity and 50% debt, making them one of the largest debt funded start-ups in India. While Furlenco plans to utilise the equity component to grow its business into more cities, the debt will be used to purchase inventory.

Read More
Slide1

Droom records monthly GMV of Rs. 104 cr

Droom has clock​ed​ a GMV of ​Rs 104 crore in a short span of 19 months. They have registered over ​Rs 1,200 crore in annualised GMV, with plans to achieve ​Rs 3,000 crore by March 2017​. The achievement has ​come despite low marketing spends at 3.75 per cent of the entire GMV​.

Read More
1 2 3 15