I remember meeting Daniel Raj David, CEO, and Co-founder of Detect Technologies, first at the TiE pitching event at Chennai way back in November 2016. He was in his final year at IIT Madras, but no one could have guessed that he was a student from his pitch that day. He clearly articulated the loss (₹12–15 crores per day) that an O&G facility suffered due to a single, undetected pipeline leakage. He followed it up with a promise of how Detect could help petrochemical plants and refineries address this. Even then, it was quite clear that Detect had overcome the…
Hope in the time of Covid-19
Notes from the startup world
As an early stage investor, my world is largely surrounded by startups. Many of these businesses serve as barometers for what is happening in the larger economy. Last few weeks have not been easy for anyone. Even for those of us who have seen the financial and tech meltdowns, this crisis stands unprecedented. We are surrounded by frenetic whatsapp forwards, never ending stream of conference calls, scraps of epidemiological wisdom and geometric possibilities of recovery. Finding some hope and sanity in all of this has been hard.
For an industry that takes pride in being ultra-modern and always focused on what’s next, the VC industry’s vocabulary is quite industrial. Words like pivot, platforms and portfolio are quite common. But nothing is more industrial than the most used term — pipeline. And pipeline, especially early stage, has been a big problem in India which shows up as a Series A choke every few years. Hence, it is not surprising that lot is happening in the early stage funding space. Many new seed funds have come up. Existing seed funds have successfully raised their next fund (2–3x larger). At…
THE 7 MYTHS ABOUT ACCELERATOR PROGRAMS IN INDIA
Running the largest accelerator program in the country, we get not only hundreds of startup applications but equally high number of questions from founders. The questions make three things clear,
1. The founders carry several notions about accelerator programs (most of them unflattering for accelerators!)
2. They are not quite clear in their own minds on what they should expect as outcomes from an accelerator program
3. They find it very difficult to distinguish different types of programs or which would be best suited for their startup.
There are articles every week…
(This article concludes a two-part series on Axilor’s Summer 2017 accelerator batch. Applications for its Winter 2017 batch is open currently)
About a 100 days back, I wrote to share our excitement from inducting the largest accelerator cohort in India comprising 20 startups. The graduation day saw some amazing startups emerge from the program with great outcomes. This blog is to share that story. With the call for applications for Winter batch open now, it is also a good time to let early stage founders know why these results should matter to them.
In March of this year, we inducted…
Last week we inducted our new accelerator batch. This is our fifth batch and we have run four such batches in the last two years. Nothing remarkable except that the recently inducted Summer ’17 batch of 20 startups is the single largest accelerator cohort ever run in India. I have always argued that the institutional capacity to support early stage startups in India is quite low — whether it is the accelerator programs to systematically improve the odds of success of startups, the market access that startups need in their early days or the angel investment capacity to support early…
Modelling what already works well is a good way to learn.
In that spirit, I am sharing 5 observations on presentations from the recent Techsparks 2015 event where I saw the top 10 startups present.
Each one of us working with start-ups has a role to play; we need to display the same discipline we demand of our start-ups
India is witnessing an unprecedented growth in entrepreneurship. It has emerged as the third largest entrepreneurial hub in the world for tech start-ups. On LetsVenture, one of the platforms connecting entrepreneurs to investors, there are 18 new start-up registrations every day. Overall, there is tremendous interest, rising awareness and relatively easy access to capital. But the maturity of the system is still nascent. …
Repetitive work is normally boring. But, it comes with other benefits. With a little attention, one can infer patterns. And patterns are useful as one can figure out commonalities.
Spending time with young entrepreneurs and listening to their ideas, especially in their very early stages, is always exciting. It also allows you to gather patterns.
Have you heard these statements before?
Whither the big data on Indian startup story?
Despite being the third-largest startup nation in the world, there is no credible systemic data in India on either founders or investors. Whatever little information is available is largely restricted to funding. In the absence of this data, entrepreneurs often end up chasing the wrong target.
In most cases, funding becomes the primary milestone worth chasing.
There are many accelerators in the country which seek applications from startups to assess them across various parameters. These applications will be a great place to start. …
Cofounder & CEO, Axilor Ventures