How they got it right

How they got it right
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First Published: Tue, Jul 24 2007. 02 07 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Jul 24 2007. 02 07 AM IST
4 Interactive
The nine-month-old, Bangalore-based stealth mode company received undisclosed funding from Matrix Partners India in December 2006. 4 Interactive is working on products in the converged Internet and mobile space. Founders Kiran Konduri and Shriram Adukoorie set up the company after stints at Microsoft and Wipro, among others. Konduri had earlier founded Zephyr Software, which was acquired by InfoSpace, Inc. Adukoorie worked at Microsoft for 10 years, and was head of MSN India and South Asia.
Adukoorie thinks it is important to validate the business idea in the market before going to a VC. “It is a good idea to validate your plans with one partner, one advertiser and a few users. So when you go to the VC, you are sure it works and the VC knows how deep you’ve gone into it,” he says.
Guruji.com
The Bangalore-based local search engine company received $7 million (Rs28.21 crore) funding from Sequoia Capital in 2006. Founders Anurag Dod and Gaurav Mishra have been part of start-ups and large corporations in their domain. Dod was engineering manager at US-based Wisenut Search Engine (which was acquired by LookSmart in 2002), while Mishra has worked at Microsoft and Nokia. They quit their jobs in the US to start the company. Mishra thinks it is a good idea to talk to multiple investors, rather than be too dependent on one. “Be transparent about it, and tell them you are talking to others as well. You have to pitch it to the investor as a great market opportunity that they can get in on. If you say: Give me the money and I’ll do it, then they will wait and watch,” says Mishra.
Minekey
This IIT Kharagpur-incubated start-up was funded by NEA IndoUS Ventures in January 2007. Founded by US-based entrepreneur Delip Andra, Minekey, Inc. released its personalized search product in beta in April. Andra had previously started networking solutions company Euclid Inc., an Indo-US venture, and worked with companies like Odin Computers and Philips. Minekey’s investors liked the fact that its products reached out to a global customer base. “While the technology is developed here in India, Minekey addresses the global market,” says Kumar Shiralagi, managing director, NEA IndoUS Ventures.
iYogi
The Gurgaon-based remote technical support services company was started in May 2005 and received a $ 3.1 million funding from Canaan Partners this year. Founders Uday Challu and Vishal Dhar are long-time entrepreneurs—Challu started his first company way back in 1986, while Dhar was a founding team member of PR firm Text 100 India. Prior to iYogi, Challu and Dhar also co-founded outsourcing company IQ Resource.
Canaan Partners’ managing director Alok Mittal says it was the team that clinched the deal. Together, they have the key skills required for the business. They had also tested the market and worked with customers.
rana.r@livemint.com
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First Published: Tue, Jul 24 2007. 02 07 AM IST