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Angel Investing Entrepreneurship India Investing InvestStream Video Startups Venture Capital Video

The Rise of Indian Venture Capital

Over the last twenty years, India has seen a tremendous amount of economic activity in the tech arena. The startup and venture capital ecosystems were a bit slow to pick-up, partly due to low Internet penetration until just a few years ago. That, however, didn’t prevent the creation of unicorns like Flipkart, Snapdeal and others. Since 2017, India has seen numerous new venture capital firms being launched with domestic and foreign capital. Japanese and Chinese investors have poured billions of dollars into Indian tech startups and venture capital firms over the last 5 years.

In the next Invest Stream Live, we’re going to chat with Ankita Vashistha, founder of the Saha Fund and Rahul Chandra, founder of Arkam Ventures. Both Ankita and Rahul have been active investors in India and both of them have very unique fund strategies. We will discuss broad trends they are seeing in India right now, what drove them to formulate such unique theses for their respective funds and what they see in store for Indian startups and other VC firms over the next year.

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Angel Investing Business Entrepreneurship InvestStream Video Startups Venture Capital Video

How are Pre-Seed and Seed Changing in 2020?

A lot is changing in the startup world. Even before getting hit with COVID-19, the definitions of pre-seed, seed, post-seed/pre-series A were changing at a fast clip. Many early-stage VCs were moving downstream, writing larger checks and investing in later rounds. At the same time, larger, late-stage VCs were either ramping up their scout programs and investing earlier than every before, other VCs were directly investing earlier and earlier. From Silicon Valley to New York City, this has created new opportunities for some, while creating additional competition for other investors.

Join us on the next InvestStream Live on June 9th, 2020 to hear two well known early-stage VCs discuss how they see the landscape changing over the next six to twelve months. What will this mean for the number of deals getting down, the size of the deals, the check sizes and more.

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Shruti Gandhi is the Founder of Array.VC, a Silicon Valley based venture firm investing in category-leading startups that take advantage of data, analytics, workflows, and new platforms to change the way an industry works.

Paul Sethi is the Co-Founder of 2048.VC, a New York City based venture firm investing in founders who are creating companies that have differentiation and defensibility through technology. They are geographically agnostic but invest in enterprise SaaS, AI/ML, FinTech, HealthTech, Cybersecurity, Dev tools, Hardware, Genomics, Marketplaces, and B2C/D2C in cities like NYC, Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Toronto/Waterloo, Nashville, Pittsburgh and more.

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Business Finance InvestStream Video Startups Venture Capital Video

What is “Carry” or “Carried Interest”?

Venture Capital can be complex and in this episode of InvestStream, I explain “carried interest” or “carry” as it’s more commonly known and why it’s important for VCs.

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Carry is discussed often amongst Venture Capitalists and other Private Equity investors but rarely amongst founders of startups. Politicians have talked about how carried interest should be taxed. Why do Venture Capitalists and other fund managers care about carry and what does it really mean? There are always variations but this video is meant as a simple illustration so that people thinking of VC as a career have some understanding of how important carry is to their overall compensation and also for entrepreneurs to understand that a VC’s success, really does ride on the coattails of each startup they invest in.

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Business Entrepreneurship India Proto Startups

Proto.in July 2008 Reflections

Proto.in is an event very similar to DEMO held in the US. The basic premise is to help startups gain visibility by being able to showcase their prototypes or products in front of other startups and potential investors.

Proto.in has been held in Chennai since its inception in January 2007, however, this summer, they decided to hold the two day event at IIT’s campus in New Delhi.

It was my first time attending Proto.in and the first thing I have to say is that the event was well organized. The first few speakers on Friday were pretty good. Unfortunately, though, as time went on, it was evident that many of the people giving talks weren’t able to engage the audience. It seemed that many attendees were finding more value mingling in the hallways as compared to what they were getting in the auditorium, myself included.

Day 2 was the day for fifteen startups to showcase what they’re doing in six minutes, like DEMO. Six minutes isn’t a lot of time to talk about your company, demo your product, and pitch the value proposition. However, this time limit is really meant to instill discipline in entrepreneurs’ pitch to customers and investors.

Overall, I wasn’t very impressed with the various ideas/businesses or business models that were being pitched. I’m going to touch upon the four companies that left some sort of impression on me. The other eleven companies left more questions about their viability and business models than anything else. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to get in front of the founders of all these companies and get any sort of clarification.

Soliton was an interesting company. Good presentation, good delivery and interesting to see a company building hardware focused on the manufacturing industry. The idea behind the product isn’t new but Soliton is trying to deliver a simpler and more effective camera to monitor manufacturing defects in a smaller package at a palatable price point.

The HiringTool is a web based B2B platform for recruiting. It allows companies to use multiple recruiters, consultants and agents. Their UI looks very easy to use and provides some interesting methods of working with recruiters ahnd determining what candidates are acceptable or not. The HiringTool hasn’t officially launched but they are taking registrations. Too bad they didn’t build this using Open Source technologies 🙁

Blink Magic showcased a nice little LCD display connected to a physical shopping cart. The idea is to enhance the shopping experience at a grocery store, Walmart, K-Mart, or anywhere shopping carts are found. Cool little product with a nice simple interface. I’m not sure how viable this is in India, though. I see HUGE potential for this type of product at places like Walmart, Sears, K-Mart, Target, etc. Reliance Fresh, Sub ka Bazaar, or other Indian retail outlets, not so much, yet. The problem in the Indian context, once again comes down to basic infrastructure – mainly electricity and connectivity in the retail stores. Go West, young man, Go West!

Eko, for the purposes of full disclosure, is owned by a friend of mine so I’ve been exposed to their business model for a while. I won’t say much other than they have the potential to do for micro-banking what Grameen Bank did for micro-lending.

I am hoping that the next Proto attracts really innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs rather than business models that are, for lack of a better description, mind-numbing.

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Finance Investing

Official Google Blog: At long last, real-time stock quotes are here

Google announced today that they would finally be providing real-time NASDAQ quotes for free on Google Finance.  This is great news, and, hopefully, the opening volley in the battle for democratized market data from exchanges around the world.

Official Google Blog: At long last, real-time stock quotes are here

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