In this episode of 100xEntrepreneur Podcast, we take you through the journey of Shripriya Mahesh from growing up in Madras (India) to working with eBay & Omidyar Network, making Films, battling cancer while founding Spero Ventures.
Prior to Spero Ventures, she led Emerging Tech investing at Omidyar Network. Shripriya has been an active angel investor in, and board member or advisor to, private technology companies throughout her career. Shripriya formerly held several leadership roles at eBay including as Vice President of Product Marketing (US, revenue), and as Vice President of Global Product Management.
Shripriya has an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MFA in Film from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a B.A. in Economics from Stella Maris College, Madras University.
Listen to this podcast to learn about:
00:58 - From growing up in India in the early 90s to moving to the US
02:50 - Doing MBA from HBS & moving to Bay Area
09:26 - After eBay what prompted her to move to NYC to do a film-making Course?
15:47 - Joining Omidyar Network and later starting Spero Ventures
21:39 - Investing in mission-driven founders
23:44 - Battling cancer and building Spero Ventures
29:09 - “How technology is designed/biased towards the mainstream audience”.
30:51 - Building empathy in technology
36:53 - “The mission & business model of a company needs to be perfectly aligned”.
37:58 - Her perspective of Gen-Z’s mission-driven attitude to make the world a better place
In this episode of 100xEntrepreneur Podcast, we take you through Jay Vijayan’s journey from working with Tesla, VMware, Oracle to building a Billion Dollar Company, Tekion.
Tekion has raised $150 million as part of its Series C financing led by private equity firm Advent International, at over $1 billion valuation.
Jay’s insights which we discuss during the podcast are on -
00:58 - From working at Oracle, VMware, & Tesla to Founding Tekion
05:21 - From bootstrapping to getting VC funding
10:25 - Thoughts on Founder & VC alignment
13:40 - Challenges for startups in the Automotive retail industry
16:13 - Building a single platform for OEMs, dealers & customers
22:25 - Getting General Motors, Nissan–Mitsubishi, FM Capital, Exor (Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari) on Tekion’s cap table
24:02 - Developing end-to-end solution for Mid-Small Dealers - Automotive Retail Cloud
31:08 - ARR growth
42:19 - Creating transparency for customers while buying a new car
49:52 - “Life is a never-ending journey of learnings”.
54:58 - What has always stopped him from settling down?
58:19 - “When an egg-shell break from within - Life begins, but when it breaks from outside - Life ends.”- Jay’s philosophy on continuously pushing himself
1:03:25 - What made Elon Musk approach Jay twice in a span of 12 months for the CIO role at Tesla
1:14:17 - What core things he learned from working with Elon at Tesla?
Saknas det avsnitt?
In this episode of 100xEntrepreneur Podcast, we take you through the journey of Priya Mohan, Startup Sensei, Venture Highway. She became a VC after exiting her Edtech Startup - Vidyartha to Byju’s.
During the podcast, Priya shares her story of breaking the glass ceiling, being one of the few women leaders in the Indian Venture Capital industry.
Listen to this podcast to learn about:
06:23 - Problem Statement solved by her first venture Vidyartha
11:30 - Having clarity to become a VC post-exiting as a founder
14:56 - Investing experience in Swiflearn being a parent & ex-Edtech founder
16:58 - Portfolio companies where she has led investments
19:36 - How does Venture Highway differentiate itself from other VC firms?
23:03 - “Having the opportunity to learn from Failures”.
23:48 - “The biggest bias is Confirmation Bias”.
25:52 - Pros & Cons of being a VC with a background as an Entrepreneur
34:01 - “There’s no good or bad news, there’s just news”
41:38 - Recommended read for listeners - “Principles” by Ray Dalio
In this episode of 100xEntrepreneur Podcast, we take you through the journey of Aloke Bajpai building ixigo over the last 13 years.
Aloke is one of the few founders who experienced & survived the 2008 crisis. During the podcast, he shares how ixigo applied similar strategies and learnings to tackle the current pandemic.
Aloke’s insights which we discuss during the podcast are on -
00:28 - USP of ixigo - Built its major user base organically
01:36 - Building quirky sharable content around travel
03:56 - Where does ixigo stands in terms of net profits & GMV for FY20?
07:26 - Launching ixigo assured & TARA assistant (i.e. Travel agent of the future)
10:42 - How travel is going to open up in the next 6-12 months?
13:50 - His lessons from surviving the 2008-crisis
22:35 - 20% of ex-ixigo employees becoming entrepreneurs
24:50 - Key-value props which have pushed ixigo into a higher orbit against its competitors
28:49 - “ixigo Train App” having higher numbers of users vs all of its travel competitors apps combined
31:19 - Pursuing Ph.D. in Survival Sciences
32:39 - Identifying organic growth hacks to tackle Zero-budget marketing
42:50 - Raising capital after the 2008-crisis
50:45 - Destination for ixigo ahead: Becoming the most loved OTA in India
56:33 - Mentoring first-time entrepreneurs & supporting them as an Angel Investor
In this episode of 100xEntrepreneur Podcast, we take you through the investment thesis opted by Jishnu Bhattacharjee, Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners, behind investments in SaaS platforms like - Postman, Druva, & Observe.AI among others.
Jishnu began his stint in the VC world with Nexus VP in 2008, and since then he has been part of many cross-border investments in SaaS startups.
Jishnu’s insights which we discuss during the podcast are on -
00:28 - Joining Georgia Tech for MS & Ph.D.
03:02 - Finding his first job offer based on his Ph.D. research paper
05:32 - Joining Business school to move-out of his regular desk-job
06:10 - Connecting with Naren during the early days of Nexus
10:52 - Why did he choose to focus only on SaaS?
15:27 - Journey of his first SaaS investment, Gluster which later got acquired by Red Hat
17:33 - Discovery of Postman
23:49 - Nexus being one of the few VC firms to have a common cross-border investment team & fund
25:41 - “Product-first thinking” the common trait of all the SaaS investments by Nexus VP
33:30 - How did organic growth come early for companies like Druva & Postman?
43:37 - Key aspects influencing Postman’s valuation going forward
51:37 - Broadening the horizon being an Entrepreneur- “Think broadly but act narrowly”
58:22 - Thesis for future investments in SaaS
In this episode, we bring Shanti Mohan, Founder, LetsVenture on the 100x Entrepreneur podcast who has been enabling Investors & Entrepreneurs to meet each other and make the best investments happen.
Shanti with her experience at LetsVenture of seeing over 260+ funding rounds, helps us understand what distinguishes the good vs bad in terms of founders, investors, and deals in great detail.
Listen to this podcast to learn about:
00:28 - Building LetsVenture being a 2nd-time entrepreneur
05:35 - Solving the problem of ACCESS
15:05 - Serving as a marketplace for founders to fundraise
16:12 - Enabling first-time investors to co-invest with Lead investors
17:42 - Building LetsVenture Plus for family offices and HNIs
18:58 - Building MyStartupEquity for founders to manage their Cap. table & ESOP
23:31 - Helping founders and investors with legal compliance and due diligence
31:12 - What leads to failed transactions
38:22 - Insights for angel investors
40:39 - On competition from platforms like AngelList
46:07 - Angel Investing as an asset-class then and now
In this episode of 100x Entrepreneur Podcast, we take you through the investment thesis of Rahul Chowdhri, behind investments in D2C, E-commerce & Edtech platforms like - Mamaearth, Shop101, & Swiflearn respectively.
We also discuss the common question a new founder thinks about while entering the Edtech sector, “Is the Indian Edtech sector saturated with the large players like Byju’s, Unacademy, and other presents in the market?”.
Rahul’s insights which we discuss during the podcast are on -
00:56 - His journey from working at BCG to joining Helion Ventures & then founding Stellaris Venture Partners
03:25 - Sectors at which he looks after - Consumer Retail, Edtech, Agritech, Horizontal Content & Social Network platforms
04:07 - Thesis behind investing in Mamaearth - Founder’s understanding of brand-perspective & online-thinking
11:14 - Can digital-first D2C brands achieve $100M+ ARR & achieve $500M+ Valuation?
12:10 - Moats which digital-first D2C brands can build to stay ahead of competitors
14:10 - Indian D2C brands which he admires and why - OZiva, FableStreet, Yoga Bar
16:35 - Are there still opportunities left for new players in Edtech, with large businesses like Byju’s & Unacademy already present?
20:10 - Thesis behind investing in Swiflearn and the problem they are solving?
25:56 - Thesis behind investing in Shop101 & the company’s growth so far
30:21 - Investments where their thesis didn’t work out and what were their learnings from it?
36:53 - Biases among VCs & founders about “What models & monetizations would work out?”
In this episode of 100xEntrepreneur Podcast, we have interacted with Mohan Lakhamraju where he shared his journey of building Great Learning and Great Lakes Institute of Management.
Mohan initially worked with Tiger Global Management for 3 years, setting up their India office. During this period one of his focus areas was the education sector in India and South-east Asian markets.
This was how he developed an inclination towards the education sector and decided to set-up a B-school specifically catering to management professionals in the Energy sector.
01:20 - Journey from IIT Bombay, UC Berkeley & Stanford University to joining Tiger Global
06:19 - Realising himself to be more of an Entrepreneur than an Investor
07:13 - Taking insights for online learning from the early journey of Coursera
08:56 - How has high-quality education impacted his journey?
10:15 - “Most people never experience excellence”
17:05 - Learnings while building Great lakes & Great learning?
23:33 - At what scale Great learning is currently operating in terms of enrollments & programs
31:09 - What is the opportunity cost of not learning or not doing something new?
38:50 - How is Great learning helping colleges & universities conduct effective online classes with their platform?
43:36 - His viewpoint on the future for Edtech in India
49:22 - His advice for entrepreneurs looking to build Edtech startups
In this episode, we are in discussion with Amit Somani, Managing Partner, Prime Ventures.
Also bringing to you an entirely new format, in this episode, we discuss what goes behind building a successful podcast.
Some of the key points which Amit & Siddhartha discussed and their experiences during the podcast were -
01:07 - Idea to start a podcast and how has the journey been so far?
05:19 - What have been their learnings being the host at a podcast?
06:25 - How to go about and solve core problem statements like content creation & distribution while running a podcast?
13:25 - What were the memorable moments while recording the podcast?
15:43 - How did they improvise themselves and became a better podcast host overtime?
18:04 - How to differentiate between open-ended & close-ended questions during a podcast and make the conversation more open & free-flowing?
19:35 - How has being a podcast host helped them in their personal & professional life?
23:21 - How to be an interesting guest?
29:29 - What are some of their recommendations to someone who wants to start podcasting?
After having an elaborate educational and career background in finance, right from becoming a CA & CFA to working at Morgan & Stanley and Citi, Ankur decided to join BlackSoil Capital.
BlackSoil, growing fast into the Venture Debt fund space, has so far disbursed over Rs.450crore+ to VC backed start-ups & growth companies.
Some of the notable startups under its portfolio are EarlySalary, Vogo, & Nearbuy among others.
In this podcast, Ankur seeks to help our listeners understand the entire Venture Debt fund ecosystem and its working in a better way.
00:38 - Founding BlackSoil and initial focus areas
02:39 - How is BlackSoil and its working structure different from other VC firms?
03:30 - Value propositions which BlackSoil brings to the table while funding its portfolio companies
06:54 - What are the interest rates, loan tenure, repayment modes which they currently offer as a working capital to Startups?
09:06 - Which family-offices is BlackSoil currently backed by? How did they build that credibility?
15:57 - How is Venture Debts different from traditional Bank loans for businesses?
17:30 - How do warrants work in case of Venture Debt funding?
18:59 - How’s the future of Venture Debt in India?
Shruti is one of the few Indian-origin VCs in US who invest in Enterprise focused Startups globally.
After spending 9 years of her career at IBM as an Engineer, she joined Samsung Next as a Principal, where she spent the next 2 years investing in early-stage startups. This was probably what worked out as a perfect mix of (a) Her understanding of Enterprise focussed SaaS businesses & (b) Venture funding ecosystem, which helped her start Array Ventures.
Some of her notable investments are CasaOne, Blumira & Modal among others.
In this podcast, Shruti shares her experience of supporting founders building early-stage SaaS businesses focussed on solving problems for Large Enterprises.
00:57 - Her journey from Mumbai to the US and transitioning from an Engineer-cum-Founder to a VC
02:35 - How and why did she choose to start a fund to cater to startups selling to Enterprises?
05:20 - Changing growth & opportunities for SaaS startups focussed on Enterprises in India & the US
08:19 - Her thesis of investing in Blumira based on how their automated threat detection can benefit companies
09:53 - Is the recent IPO of 6 Enterprise companies including Palantir, Snowflake, Sumo Logic, Bentley Systems, creating real value or is it a bubble?
11:20 - Her learnings from Array VC exits: Passage AI, Hivy, & Simility
13:10 - What would be an ideal exit for her - Large Acquisition (in 5-6 years) or IPO (in 10 years)?
14:13 - What value does Array VC bring to its portfolio companies?
16:10 - How’s the growth trajectory for her portfolio SaaS companies from 0 to $10M and then from $10M to $100M ARR?
19:02 - What are things which worked for her portfolio companies for exponential ARR growth?
Baskar’s journey is very similar to what classic Product-driven Tech entrepreneurs have, i.e. a college drop-out built several tech solutions from an early age, founded a fast-paced startup growing multi-folds over years.
He co-founded Amagi Media Labs, in 2008 with the intent to revolutionize global content delivery & monetization of the Media Industry.
Amagi is one of the few startups which experienced constant growth even in the Covid-19 circumstances and has no plans of slowing down its growth engines anytime soon.
In this podcast, Baskar shares his experience of building tech solutions and his learnings from being a Tech entrepreneur for over two decades.
01:09 - Enabling end-to-end global virtualization of content delivery and monetization in Media Industry
03:22 - Major emerging trends in Media & OTT platforms for broadcasters
08:50 - Evolution of OTTs in the US and how Amagi helps them as a one-stop-shop!
11:59 - His journey from dropping out of IIT Bombay (during MTech) to starting Amagi?
21:12 - Transiting from an Advertising sales model to a Technology platform
25:44 - Growth in Revenue from 2012 to till date
28:35 - How was the fund-raising experience being in the Media industry?
32:32 - What’s his end goal with Amagi? Going Public, achieving a $200 Million ARR or something else?
36:34 - What are the processes which helped him as an entrepreneur & the company to grow exponentially?
38:25 - How “letting go” is a very crucial part of the growth process?
40:36 - How being open, vulnerable, and accepting your mistakes openly within the team can help a company grow?
Naren is probably one of the earliest VCs in India’s startup ecosystem. He co-founded Nexus Venture Partners in 2006. He has also been mentoring early-stage entrepreneurs and supporting them since 1990.
With investments in over 200+ companies in India and the US, Nexus Venture Partners have some of the most notable startups in their portfolio - Postman, Rapido, and Unacademy among others.
In this podcast, Naren shares his experience of investing in early-stage product startups for over three decades.
01:16 - His journey from moving to the US being an IIT Gold Medalist
02:10 - Lessons from his first venture - Integrated Systems Inc.
05:45 - Starting Nexus Venture Partners and deciding upon sectors it won’t invest
14:25 - Building a cross border teams
18:50 - Uniqueness among entrepreneurs and growth journey of portfolio companies
24:52 - Being an early-stage investor and also being consistent through the follow-up rounds
29:25 - What are the metrics of success upon which early-stage founders and VCs should focus?
35:13 - At what stage do things like - go-to-market, building stronger organization & sales, become a part of board-meeting discussions?
From working at PwC, while pursuing his CA to starting a Venture Fund which invests in Early-stage disruptive Tech startups, Vishesh has experienced it all.
He started his investing career at VenturEast in 2007. This was where he understood the Ins & Outs of Venture investing.
From its Fund-I, Speciale Invest has invested in a total of 10 portfolio companies, some of which are Scapic, Agnikul, and Kawa Space among others.
In this podcast, Vishesh shares his experience of investing in seed-stage Hardware & SaaS startups.
01:10 - His journey from a CA to becoming an Early-Stage Investor
07:41 - Starting Speciale Invest aiming to invest in disruptive tech startups
09:30 - Developer Tools companies in his portfolio - Scapic, Kawa Space, TotalCloud, and iauro
10:44 - Conversation AI startups in his portfolio - True Lark & Wingman
12:35 - Investing in Cynlr with a vision to evolve Visual AI and Industrial Robotic Arms
14:47 - Investing in Agnikul - India’s version of SpaceX
16:27 - His experience Investing & Exit from Vogo
19:48 - Is the Indian startup ecosystem mature enough for early-Exits within 5-6 years of investment?
24:31 - What are some of the recent tailwinds for Hardware & SaaS startups in India?
28:19 - How are B2B founders different from B2C founders in terms of Go-to-market strategy, customer acquisition, and other parameters?
31:18 - His learnings from being a VC-cum-Fund Manager and managing LPs
Ashmeet started his career at HP in 1989. He founded Sidana Systems in 1995 (later sold to Doclinx in 1999).
He started his stint as a VC at Foundation Capital in 2004. Eventually, he founded Engineering Capital in 2015, which focuses on investing in Tech startups, based on Technical insights.
He is one of the few VCs to have been to the base of Mount Everest. In this podcast, he also shares his experience of climbing mountains, one step at a time.
Engineering Capital is based in the US and majorly in the San Fransico Bay area, some of its notable portfolio companies are Robust Intelligence, Concentrix, and vFunction among others.
In this podcast, Ashmeet shares his thesis of investing in Tech Startups and the approach he follows while evaluating them.
01:24 - His journey from growing up in Rural India to becoming a VC dedicated to Engineers
02:43 - Purpose of starting a fund focussed on engineers
04:04 - Difference between Market insight, Technical insight & Consumer insight
06:43 - Investing in SignalFx based on its use case - “Enabling cloud-based monitoring and analytics.”
08:18 - Investing in Robust Intelligence based on its use case - “Solving the issue of User Data contamination.”
10:51 - Investing in vFunction based on its use case - “Allows users to take any legacy applications and break them into micro-services & benefit from the cloud.”
12:35 - Is Technical insight alone a sufficient reason for a VC to back a Tech Startup?
15:49 - Making an early seed-investment in Azure Power (India) as an Angel Investor
20:50 - His perspective and view-point on Postman & potential of Tech Startups in India
24:55 - Learnings about Market size with future entrepreneurs in B-schools
29:36 - “Even though Venture Capital attracts the brightest and smartest minds all over the world, but still most VCs are not successful.”
36:12 - “The magic of making a startup successful is to focus on an incredibly narrow problem, that has a wide application.”
Nikhil is one of the most Tech & Product-centric VCs in Asia. This probably comes from his early career with Microsoft, and later with Pie (acquired by Google).
He also founded a company called TommyJams, a tech-enabled Artist management platform.
He has been with STRIVE Ventures for over 5 years. STRIVE’s portfolio includes HASURA, Classplus, and Saleswhale among others.
In this podcast, Nikhil shares his experience of investing in SaaS startups in Asia and helping them achieve Product-Market Fit.
01:03 - Two major SaaS buckets for STRIVE - (1) Global SaaS (US, European, & Asian markets) and (2) Local SaaS (India SaaS / Indonesian SaaS and similar others.)
04:48 - How does STRIVE focus on such segregated SaaS markets?
09:28 - Not only monetizing Local SaaS startups through the typical Subscription-Business model (Example - Classplus) but also through transactions
17:34 - What was the thought process at STRIVE while coming up with a Non-subscription model for monetizing their portfolio companies in the Indian market?
20:27 - Indonesia SaaS market in terms of product adoption, willingness-to-pay & market penetration
26:21 - Portfolio of Global SaaS - Healint, HASURA, Saleswhale
29:18 - Investing in HASURA with a vision to simplify backend development
33:10 - Investment Thesis - “Founders & Teams who Do More with Less”
36:10 -Common early-stage mistakes in SaaS startups
40:05 -Crucial changes in GTM strategies for SaaS startups in Pre-COVID vs Post-COVID market
48:22 - Emphasizing on portfolio companies to build user engagement and reach an initial $1 million+ ARR
Sheel is a Fintech-Entrepreneur turned Fintech-VC investing in Pre-seed & Seed rounds.
His first startup was FeeFighters in 2010, which was acquired in 2012 by Groupon.
In this podcast, Sheel shares his experience of being an entrepreneur twice and becoming an Angel Investor and later starting his own VC firm.
01:03 - His journey from a Fintech Entrepreneur to a Fintech VC
04:50 - Starting “The Pitch Podcast” (acquired by Gimlet, Gimlet was later acquired by Spotify)
07:55 - What does he look for in founders while investing in startups at Seed/Pre-Seed stage?
09:57 - Brief about his game-changing fintech portfolio companies
13:29 - From hating working at a company that made software for hospitals to investing in a startup which makes software for hospitals
14:50 - “Majority of companies in the future will be Fintech companies”
22:15 - How did he spot his first Angel Investment?
Amit being one of the co-founders of India’s first Unicorn Startup - InMobi, needs no introduction.
After driving InMobi’s growth journey for over 10 years, he decided to start Yulu (E-bikes & Mobility solutions) in 2017. In his 2nd entrepreneurial stint, he also convinced Rajiv Bajaj (MD, Bajaj Auto) for investing in Yulu & assembling Yulu bikes in India by Bajaj Auto.
As an Angel Investor, Amit has backed over 30+ Early-stage startups, as a gesture of giving back to the community. Some of the popular ones being - HealthifyMe, Applicate & Vahak.
In this podcast, Amit shares his experience of building two great companies, along with his core beliefs & principles as a long-time entrepreneur.
01:28 - Starting his Entrepreneurial Journey
04:04 - Co-founding InMobi in 2006, based on his intent to disrupt Mobile Advertising in India
11:50 - How did he identify the potential in mobile advertising in India, back in 2006, when mobile internet wasn’t mainstream?
16:02 - What made him start a new venture after 11 years in InMobi?
27:30 - Convincing Rajiv Bajaj for investing in Yulu & assembling Yulu bikes in India by Bajaj Auto
30:40 - Future plans & product positioning of Yulu with the current COVID situation in perspective
39:23 - How did Yulu negotiate free parking spaces for YuluZones?
42:37 - Was raising funds for Yulu easy, being a 2nd-time entrepreneur?
59:40 - Startups he’s backing as an Angel Investor
Sajith has been constantly sharing his thoughts & thesis around the Startup ecosystem on social media since 2012.
This probably reflects from his background, of being at the Times Group for over two decades and his love for reading and taking copious notes.
He joined Blume Ventures in 2018, in his 40s. As he didn’t have a background in VC & Angel investing, he humbly considers himself, “An Accidental VC”.
Some of Blume Ventures portfolio companies include - Unacademy, Dunzo, and Cashify among others.
In this podcast, Sajith shares his experience of becoming a VC, from a Non-investing background and identifying startups that outshine during Covid-19.
00:55 - A Day in the life of a VC during Covid-19
02:02 - Why does Sajith refer to himself as “An Accidental VC”?
07:09 - Building a personal brand & experience to enter the VC Ecosystem
09:44 - Emphasis on Note-taking for collating thoughts & ideas
12:56 - Secret to being an open-minded VC - “Having Strong Views, weakly held”
22:30 - Strongly backing Unacademy’s incredible growth journey
25:55 - Markets where vacuums have been created in situations like Covid-19
42:10 - What’s his perspective on “Moats” in Early-stage startups vs Bigger players in the market?
45:27 - What things did he have to unlearn to succeed as VC?
53:45 - What does he consider, as his edge as a VC, coming from a Non-investing background, at the age of 40?
Pratik Poddar having his roots back in a Tier-II city, Patna, is probably one of the youngest Principals at a VC firm in India.
After having multiple entrepreneurial stints, Pratik joined Nexus Venture Partners, in 2015 as an Investment Associate and has grown tremendously since.
Some of Nexus Venture Partners’ portfolio companies include - Zolo, Postman, and Unacademy among others.
In this podcast, Pratik shares his experience of identifying potential Edtech Startups in India and adding them to his Portfolio.
01:29 - Focus on Product-first companies in the Portfolio
05:35 - How Edtech startups made themselves resistant from Covid-19?
07:46 - Edtech Companies in Portfolio - Unacademy, WhiteHat Jr., and Quizizz among others
09:58 - Monetization & Growth Journey of Unacademy with 1200+ Cr. Annual Revenue
11:08 - TestPrep Market Scenario & Opportunities in India
21:30 - Investing in WhiteHat Jr. a very new concept in Edtech
41:25 - Untapped Opportunities in early school for Edtech
49:02 - How big is the potential market for “Pay After Placement model” startups like Newton School?
52:45 - 3 Key Qualities VCs look for in Edtech Entrepreneurs