The final edition of Find Your Investor (FYI) programme 2019-20, supported by Kotak Mahindra Bank (Kotak) was conducted by Venture Garage in the upcoming IT hub of the tri-city of Chandigarh-Mohali-Panchkula. After four super successful sessions in Pune, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, over 100 applications were received at the Chandigarh FYI event, which is a fund-raising platform for start-ups. More than 50 start-ups and seven investors attended the Chandigarh edition, which catered to entrepreneurs from Punjab and from towns such as Patiala, Ludhiana and Mandi.
The event was also attended by Bhavesh Gulia from YourNest Venture Capital and Dheeraj Jain from TAN Advisors Private Limited, who along with the panelists interacted with 13 shortlisted start-ups in a one-on-one speed dating format. Some of the ideas presented included:
- Patented IOT-based energy management platform (extendable safety management, inventory/asset tracking) for warehouses. This start-up currently reduces energy costs by 50% (electricity, power back-up etc.)
- A start-up that currently operates in seven cities of Northern India and through a network of over 3,000 healthcare professionals, it brings home world-class medical assistance and provides stress-free home healthcare for patients, dependent elders, and new mothers. They have served more than 10,000 patients with more than seven million hours of caregiving.
- A SaaS-based mobile application, which renders virtual reality experience that enables consumers at retail stores to walk through customised 3D rooms with their shortlisted home décor products installed on the app, thus helping them get a better understanding of the different combinations.
- A cloud drive, a secure file sharing system and virtual data room with unique features such as dynamic password in each sharing URL. This company offers solutions that are 50-70% cheaper than the existing ones.
- A B2B2C subscription-based web service that offers a tech stack to secure unique master original copies of documents digitally, with complete access control that helps know the who, why, when and where of the digital documents in real time. The start-up is currently operational in Delhi, Chandigarh and Bengaluru.
- The Intermittent Vacuum Therapy (patent pending) has proved itself very convincingly in treating over 20 diseases. Patients can gain from this therapy, especially considering the fact that it cures without using any medicine, massage, yoga, exercise or acupressure.
- An agri-tech start-up making grain growing more profitable and sustainable by increasing farm productivity, reducing the cost of cultivation and achieving a higher grain price realisation for farmers.
Puneet Kapoor, Senior Executive Vice President, Kotak Mahindra Bank said, "Venture Garage's Find Your Investor programme is proving to be one of the key fund-raising platforms for start-ups with strong participation from both investors and start-ups. We are delighted to play our part in supporting the dreams of entrepreneurs. The Kotak Start-up Current Account is customised to meet the unique requirements of start-ups and help entrepreneurs scale their businesses and manage their day-to-day business needs efficiently."
The Kotak Start-up Current Account comes with a host of features such as no balance commitment for the first 12 months, customised payment and collection solutions to suit each start-up's business model, corporate salary accounts for employees, special forex pricing, cost-effective payment solutions and trade forex solutions.
STPI Mohali, a government-led organisation that is at the forefront of enabling start-ups in the Chandigarh region, hosted the FYI Chandigarh programme. In a fireside chat with Vivek Kumar from Venture Garage, Ajay Srivastava, Additional Director and centre head of STPI Mohali, talked about the support STPI offers start-ups, the centre-of-excellence for AI and IOT, the launch of the neuron programme targeting start-ups that work on cutting edge technologies and the grants that start-ups can avail of.
The FYI programme was led by a 30-minute session on how to prepare for fund-raising by Vineet Sagar, Managing Partner, Venture Garage. The session covered the two main aspects of:
- What the pitch deck should say about your venture: A big market, a team with complementary skill sets, a business that aims to solve a problem for the masses, a model that is differentiated and has its USPs, a company with the traction that demonstrates its ability to rapidly scale etc.
- What your projections should say about your venture: A potential unicorn and not a lifestyle business; a rapid scaling business, a company that moves fast from pre-revenue to revenue generating, strong unit economics with high life-time value of customers and prudent use of funds: low on fixed costs, founder salaries, and cash burn etc.
The investor panel discussion was moderated by Vineet Khurana of Chandigarh Angels Network and included Bhavish Sood (Modulor Capital), Neeraj Das (7 Gate Ventures), Prashant Dua (Venture Gurukool) and Amit Singhal (Fluid Ventures). The discussion included the fund thesis of each of the investors and what investors look for in start-ups, especially around teams, scalability and profitability. Various examples of start-ups were quoted as the discussion focussed on what worked and what did not work for them.
"The classic mistake is that sometimes even investors look at businesses in the early stage where we should only really be looking at the founders," said, Bhavish Sood.
"As a fund investing between US$ 100,000-5 million, we focus mostly on innovation as the key factor as that is what leads to scale," said, Neeraj Das, 7 Gate Ventures.
"We look at teams with some start-up experience because if the founders have had even a failed start-up, we feel that they are much better founders," said, Prashant Dua, Venture Gurukool.
With 31 angel investments under his belt, Amit Singhal talked about the launch of his upcoming fund Fluid Ventures. He said, "A start-up itself means scalable so that is a given but we want to also look at sustainability, e.g. if it is a SaaS-based start-up, the unit economics should be profitable and they should not be selling at a loss, hoping that the client will pay more in the future,"
In the FY2019-20 FYI series, a couple of start-ups have already received funding commitments worth over Rs. 6-7 crore.
The FYI FY2019-20 series has reached out to an estimated 10,000 start-ups and over 600 investors. FYI has surely become the go-to platform for new-age entrepreneurs to interact one-on-one with investors, enabling them to meet the right investors and equipping them with tools to build large, scalable businesses.
FYI FY2019-20 was organised in five cities - Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune and Chandigarh.