Logo
Transcribe
How does being flow work for you when a start-up raises pre-series a or series a then the VC refers you to the startup or is it you reach out to your sort of yourself? I think it's a combination of all of those in many cases. It is the VCU picks up a call, you know picks up the phone and calls us and you know, lets us know that there's a deal happening in whether we'd like to look at some data. We also have you know our own outreach program where all of the trans actors in our enough reaching out actively to companies that we think I Interesting. These are also some of these companies that we reach out through our activate program and in some cases, you know, people do reach out to us on their own especially as our circle of support for your company's grows and people have an experience in what Venture debt is about what gets around and people end up calling us. So it's really a combination of several sources that we have to tap into to get, you know, get deal flow going Hadji. What were the things you did right back when starting the venture In 2006 2007 so starting out in 2007, you know, I had the approved forms from svv to set up the India Business Insider check for 50 million. So I had literally cash a 50 million sitting in the bank account and you know predictably there's a lot of pressure to deploy and to you know, targets and things I think the things that we did correctly. First of all is that we took our time and building the model and it was not something we could just do, you know, bring the model in from the u.s. Force. Fit that into Indian make it work and expect it to work because if the industry environment is different they want as many VC's in India that stage. I think it was just beginning to build out. So we had to really take our time and make sure that the model that we were building was going to work which meant we had to be very patient do the right deals and you know, make sure that we took the right sort of Step as a first step and tested it to see the ground held firm and then take the Second Step. So in the first year we did, you know, just one deal and then the Can deal we did five deals the third year we did 70s and it slowly built on that to the point where at the end. We were doing, you know several deals, you know upwards of 20 30 deals in in just a quarter. So for us, I think the right things you did is first of all, I think we hire we had a great team. We took our time pick the right people for it scaled up the right way. My partner today. We not morally is one of the first people to join me in 2008 and you know, literally we've built this industry together from then over the last 10 12 years. So number one is I think hiring the right people bring the right people on Board. Number two was taking our time to prove the model to understand what works from a venture debt perspective in this market and scale that up slowly removing the mistakes avoiding the mistakes the next time around and and doubling down on things that we did correctly and I think that was also a credit to the way that are you know LP was that point Silicon Valley Bank was very patient. They gave us the latitude to you know, slow down. Take our time to really build the model and they were not in a hurry. They really gave us the latitude to really push this at our own pace and get comfortable with it. So I think that's that really helped us to build a foundation on which we've been able to sort of go forward and build this business out in the last 10 years OJ with 50 million sitting in your bank and having no ecosystem or deals to put that money into what you thinking. Let's go mainstream DC and leave this Venture get aside, you know, the Venture debt business for me was was a perfect combination of my skill set as a lender with my interest in working with startups. And to me therefore Venture debt was never something that I questioned. I think right from the start. It's been something I've really passionately wanted to do and you know, I think they were initially of course questions around how soon and how fast will this industry grow because 2006 2007 2008 is when the bulk of the VC investors started coming in but things were you know, obviously not picking up quite As fast as we expected them to so there were questions initially on how soon and how fast we would get to being at scale. But I don't think any of us doubted that this industry would be big at some point and I think that for me was a given I think from the very start in even going back in 2004 2005. I always felt that the Venture Capital industry in India would be big and therefore Venture debt as sub segments of the industry will also be big so I think for me it was Not questioning the business itself and there was no reason to and it also brought together, you know, my interests and my capabilities among the things which went right you give a lot of credit to Serendipity and luck. What were those instances and why such credit to it? Yeah, you know if I trace back my sort of history of doing this from the start there were several moments when I never thought things would happen, but they happened and it was When I found myself in front of the regional director at Citibank, for example who somehow miraculously knew about Venture debt was convinced as a great model. Give me the the approval to do it which was a first for the bank because nowhere else in Citibank globally in the history of the bank had anyone done Venture debt. So it was amazing to me that the bank stood up and allowed me the chance to do it thereafter. When I decided to move on, you know, Silicon Valley Bank sort of stood up and said, you know will give you the funding to start an India business when up until that point. Point it had not really done put money to work outside the US so, you know at every stage I felt that there was obviously a you know preparation from my end in some ways. There was an understanding of what was needed to be done. But there was an element of luck where people stepped in Opportunities presented themselves, which I think really helped me to take this and run with it as a product or Jay you have been on hundreds of cap tables in the 13 years what kind of elements or what kind of qualities do these founders of companies has beside timing that makes them 5,200 X see I think the most fundamental thing you can ask is for passion in the business. And this is without fail something that you see in every entrepreneur right rear deep passion for the business wanting to take risks for their business being relentless in how they spend the time driving their business thinking about it. That's it. I think that needs to be Ernst by Cold rational logic at some points and it's very important for a Founder to sometimes put passion on hold and kind of Connect into their in a more logical self and take an assessment of what the business needs what direction is it? And that's when these moments of pivot happen if they need to happen. And once the direction is set right through cold logic is you disconnect that logic cord and you put in the passion quarter. And you drive a hundred miles an hour again in that direction that you've chosen and I think that's very important too because if you put your head down and without thinking you let your passion drive your business you could be going the wrong direction and you will not be able to see the signs. So I think it's very important to balance those two aspects and I think what successful Founders do is to allow the investors to play sometimes that role of providing the cold logic to the passion and vice versa. What investors Has someone successful ones do is to not interfere with the business of the investor, but to provide that law that layer of logic into the passion that the teams provide so I think it has to be a combination of both that really drives the company forward and you'll see that a lot of the successful companies are companies that have pivoted at some point or have latched onto a new opportunity and sort of double down on that opportunity. I think that's an important element that I've seen in most successful companies the ability to combine both those aspects of what drives companies for.