Experts find India’s investment ecosystem in fine fettle

Thiruvananthapuram, April 7: The investment ecosystem in India is improving and investors are ready to take a bet on start-ups, according to venture capitalists, who are also seeing potential in platforms based on foundational technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain.

Participating in a panel discussion titled “Funding and Investment: How and When?” organized as part of the two-day Huddle Kerala conclave, which concluded at The Leela Raviz Beach Resort, Kovalam here on Saturday, many of the experts said they are seeing a lot more sanctity to the whole ecosystem compared to previous years.

There is an improvement in the thought process of start-ups and their maturity levels have gone up. Earlier, everyone wanted to be another Flipkart and Quikr, but this mindset has changed and many are beginning to come into their own, they observed.

Mr. Atul Hegde, Co-founder, Rainmaker Ventures, said investors can bring in tremendous value to the startup team, but the founders need to think about when to rope them in. “I believe that a founder should be very cautious that funding is resorted to only when he or she is convinced that they are about to hit revenue stage. Seeking an investor is like a marriage, as the selection is very vital,” he said.

Commenting on the activity of his firm, Mr. Hegde said that they only invest in companies “where we can play a strategic role”. “Our role is just to find a funding for the firm.  Founders need to be extremely clear that what kind of investor they want.”

On the kind of start-ups that attract investor attention, Mr. Satish Mugulavalli, Director, Technology, YourNest Venture Capital, said their eye was on whether new horizontal technologies like Artificial intelligence and Blockchain could be built up as a platform.

“A large part of our evaluation would be that if you are building a blockchain company, are you actually building a distributed app that is solving a particular problem. A lot of the focus is on trying to identify the firms which can build a tech-based platform,” he added.  

To a query on what investors bring to the table, apart from money, Mr. Anil Joshi of Unicorn India Ventures said: “From our perspective, we don’t get into the day-to-day operations of start-ups; we try to help things from giving strategic help to open right doors for networking.”    

Mr. Manoj Kumar Agarwal, Co-founder, Sea Fund; Mr. Mayuresh, Managing Partner, Sea Fund and Mr. Amit Gupta, CEO, were among the panellists. Mr. Vaibhav Agarwal, Founder, and CEO, Inc42 Magazine was the moderator.

Startups, investors, academicians and industry leaders attended the two-day Huddle Kerala was organised by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IAMAI Startup Foundation.



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