Early stage with some product-market fit
We invest in early stage companies, preferably with some semblance of a product market fit at the intersection of network effects, technology and innovative business models by leveraging platforms, protocols and the power of modularity.
We believe returning founders who have learnt the rules of the startup game in their first stint, whether it be a success or a failure, have had their trial by fire and are in it for the right reasons, having learnt key lessons that will enable them to crash timelines to scale businesses.
Non-obvious market opportunities
The question you need to answer is whether you have discovered a nonobvious market opportunity where you have a unique advantage or approach, and one that competing players won’t see until you’ve had a chance to build a healthy lead.
Solutions that give back people time
>One of the things we are looking for are solutions that give people back the most precious thing they have in their lives, which is their time. If you give people their time back, they will love you forever and keep coming back for more.
India for India play that can be scaled globally
We value an India for India play, which can then subsequently be scaled to, first, similar markets and subsequently globally.
Go big or go home
Startups have odds stacked against them and given the nature of the beast, there are limited stabs that investors can take at being successful. It becomes imperative that the successes have to be big to overcome the odds. With this in mind, we look at whether the addressable market large enough and is the market addressable right now, if not now, by what timeframe and has the company got a good shot at becoming the market leaders.
We choose to bet on people
People bring the ship home; the rest takes care of itself if we bet on founders that are learners for life and can pivot on a dime. We look for founders who possess proprietary knowledge and are working on a problem we understand and teams that have an interdisciplinary mix. We look for that indistinguishable flame that usually comes from some sort of adversity and an indistinguishable drive that they want to prove other people wrong.
Technology changes everything
Technology crashes timelines to build a company, the marginal cost of acquiring an additional customer is negligible and all this without huge upfront capital investment. Most innovation waves follow a pattern where infrastructure is initially developed, then enabling technologies are created, and finally applications are built on top of the first two. Combine that with the last remaining large market, that is India and you get an opportunity that arises once in the lifetime of economies
Today’s themes have a bad track record of predicting future successes
Be contrarian and be right. As the great Wayne Gretzy did all his glittering career, we want to be where the puck is going to be. Ideas that are too obvious end up getting overcrowded very quickly. Dominant platforms are usually built in the face of enormous skepticism. With our growing portfolio, we expect to be the go-to place for such ideas and entrepreneurs in the future.
Look for intersections
Directional innovation improves a product in fairly predictable steps, along a well-defined dimension. The rewards for this are fairly predictable. Intersectional innovations, on the other hand, change the world in leaps along new directions when diverse skillsets, cultures, disciplines and industries intersect.