Transcribe
Among the 23 startups, which you have invested in which of them has went on to raise a series A and who have raised series B or more? Yeah, so I won't have the exact quantification but let's say I remove the last three or four companies that you've just invested in so we have a basically, primarily early stage investors. So we do see it pre-series in an occasional case may be a series A but it's mostly seed and we see these are sweet spots, so let's say I remove the last three four companies which we've invested in 2019 so if I had to take the remaining 20 I would say 17 would have raised a series A, B or more. I don't have the exact breakdown between A, B or more. Of the remaining three, two are break even. One is handsomely profitable like in the millions of dollars kind of profitability. So I would say 19 are doing really well, by that token of like capital access is not the reason why they will make it or not make it and and several have gone on to you know, like I said series As series B's and so forth. So reasonably large number. What markets are you in look out for 2019 2020 where if you find a great team you would invest in? So actually it's a little bit of a boring answer. Right? So Fintech Financial Services, financial inclusion is definitely a big area, I think the intersection of Fintech with other industries is very interesting now, right? So we invested in a company a couple of years ago I know it's the forward-looking question called a ford plant, which is the intersection of Fintech and Healthcare. So we're seeing a lot of that sort of interesting opportunities there right, intersection of Fintech with other verticals. So that continues global SAS is booming right? It's really it's a forward-looking statement so we're looking at that but the other thesis are less about a sector as the market would classically identify it but we believe there's a massive digitization of India that is happening both at a consumer level, at an SME level, at an Enterprise level. People are adopting technology and software to run their lives, to run their businesses so forth much more than you could have imagined. So we think every process is there for the taking. So we invested in a company called My Gate which is basically really digitizing security making security comfortable and convenient at the same time for entry and exit into your gated community. But really it's not about SAS for security. That's really you know, saying, how do I make just this notion of being safe and secure much more comfortable, much more convenient, much more streamlined in urban India, which is really really exploding. So any vertical digitization, it might be in some other industry vertical, it might be a process that we are used to, right, you know, like Ola and Uber is have digitized our ability to move around town, right? So those kinds of things are very interesting. Another very big thing is the aspirational middle-class, so again, I won't call it a sector like, you know, here's Fintech or here's this, but the aspirations are growing a lot right? So people want a higher quality of service, higher quality of product, people want better education people want better health care, people want you know more aspirational goods. You know the middle class is another huge opportunity that we see right because there's just so much aspirational stuff that is happening. So as India grows up from a per capita basis people want better education, better access to healthcare, better access to financial services like I've said, so looking at middle class as a segment and seeing what are the aspirational needs of the middle class, right? That's the sector we look at right? So it's not really driven by like, oh, we're looking at, you know vernacular or logistics or just healthcare. We're looking at it in that context saying things that can help with job creation things that can help with better scaling, things that can help with better quality of life, anything in that area is definitely of big interest. In which state should start ups reach out to Prime Ventures? So we have invested although little bit infrequently from a paper napkin stage to when companies even have like half a million dollars of revenue however, the ideal stages when you have your team complete and you probably have at least a little bit of an MVP that you've got some early validation, I won't even say traction, Or metrics, but just, so you've got the team, you got an idea you know what market you're going after, you've got the MVP, you're getting some early customer feedback that would be the best stage perhaps to talk to Prime. And is a revenue compulsory for you that the company should have a path to revenue within six months of your investment or so? Revenue is not. However a business model is. I always tell entrepreneurs that you should any investor you're talking to you should always ask them what risks are they comfortable taking. The best investors will tell you. So we rarely take a business model risk, right? We always have some line of sight to what the business could be. Can this be a viable business? Can there be some monetization potential in what way and what is the proxy or the validation of that thesis right? But having revenue on day zero when you're pitching us or investing or we are to invest that is not necessary, often not even an SLE a time frame although in many of the kind of businesses that we do SAS, Fintech, etc is often some revenue. It's usually modest but there is some revenue. So do you prefer any first time founders or you are more biased towards the second time founders? Like I said, VC, you know, there's a lot of things here you have to, Alvin Toffler use this futurist right, he has this beautiful quote the people who succeed in the 21st century are not going to be the gyanis or the wisdom wise people or whatever, it is people who have ability to unlearn, relearn, learn like all the time because you're seeing new situations all the time. So we actually don't have any preconceived notions on whether you're a first-time founder or you're an older founder you're an IIT, Non-IIM doesn't matter. If you have a deep understanding of the market, if you have deep customer empathy, if you have you know, spunk hustle, drive, whatever we will consider you, like all the pedigree and all that stuff is really second and third-order, right? This is kind of comes to splitting hairs. So we don't have any particular preference, founders that are passionate driven working on large problems have a missionary zeal that's all we're looking for. So we have all age groups I think before my time at Prime they invested in an entrepreneur who was 19 years old they have entrepreneurs who are over 50 Years old, that we've invested in, we've had like a third and fourth time founder we've invested in, we have most of the founders are actually first time ones that we've done so all kinds and shapes. What's the average time you take between the first intro to cutting a cheque? So Siddharth it depends on the sector and what we know about it. We like to believe we move very quickly, so if it's an area that we know about it can be as quick as two weeks, if it is something that we are absolutely newbies in that might even take as long as six weeks. So our sweet spot is probably like four weeks to two to six weeks is kind of the range, that's broadly what it is. And how do you consider entrepreneurs should reach out to you? The ideal way really is through referral even, you know, small firm like ours we get thousands of proposals a year and we are entire investment teams five people, four in India really on the ground and then we have a partner Emeritus Raj in Paulo Alto. So just imagine a couple of thousand pictures with four people on the ground Signal to noise ratio is going to be quite deafening if I may say so. So I would say ideally if you know somebody that knows us we're fairly active on social media we're active on LinkedIn, so enough people kind of know us. So if you get an introduction from an entrepreneur whether its prime entrepreneur, somebody in the ecosystem or somebody that we know in the entrepreneurial world of the corporate world, that would be ideal. If not, of course, you know, you can connect with us on any and all channels right email, social media, whatever but usually the introduction ones sort of gravitate towards the top in terms of you know, getting first priority. How many deals you do in a year? We invest in about four to five companies in a year and there's a reason why we invest in relatively few companies a year because in our model we want to either this is one of the things in Silicon Valley that used to work really well we wanted to be active investors so we work very closely with the entrepreneurs on a hands-on basis for whatever it takes, It could be to help hire someone, open a relationship with a bank, get a partnership with MasterCard, Visa, could be to you know, get in with them on the field whatever and the everybody helps that companies right, that goes without saying our discipline is if you only do four to five a year, we have enough allocation of bandwidth that all partners can help all companies in whatever it takes and so this is a real put money where your mouth is because if I'm doing 10, 15, 20 25 investments a year and for the size of team we have I just won't have the time to work with the portfolio. So working with the portfolio companies is a huge priority and with that's one of the reasons why we do four to five year. You said you receive thousand pitches is a year. More than, well over a thousand. So do you take the time out to reply to every email saying no, that why doesn't work out for you? I wish we could. We don't to be honest. We're a bit, you know not great on that, also through all the social media channels you get literally like I'm not even counting those pitches that will be in the multi-thousand if I count all that which is why I said that look either having a introduction or somewhat of a personalized message as to why are you interested in Prime, why should Prime be interested in you, why are you reaching out to me particularly versus a Sripathi or a Sanjay or whatever like a little bit of that homework if it goes we do obviously reach out to those people even if it doesn't work. More interestingly for people that we do date and meet several times we think we are one of the few investors who will actually respond to you with, here are three reasons why we're not investing in your company, it's not a generic like hey, this sector is not of interest to us. That's usually on the cold emails you'll get a cold response if it's not of interest, but when we have spent some time with you, we will tell you hey these two three five things these are not really things that we are able to understand or get a hide around or maybe we have a different point of view than the entrepreneurial team.