Jitendra Gupta, managing director, PayU India.
Jitendra Gupta, managing director, PayU India.

Why Nestaway is in Jitendra Gupta’s anti-portfolio

Good founders don't chase investors. So, speed and quick decision making is key to deal with them, says Jitendra Gupta

Deepak Dhar, one of the co-founders of Nestaway, was one of my team members in Citrus Pay. While he and his co-founders were toying with the idea, he was still working with me in Citrus.

So, there was a sense of familiarity with the concept, business model and the team. The opportunity made an impression at the first go. The market size was large and they were solving core problems—what each of us have faced when we were single, especially while renting out apartments. So, I was convinced from day one. In fact, Deepak and I debated it for a couple of weeks before he took the final plunge. And, of course, Deepak was like a co-founder to me in Citrus, so I had no doubt of his execution capabilities.

For the initial fund raise, I made a couple of intros with VCs, but the team was smart enough to shore up funds in no time. We also discussed some key terms and whether it made sense for them, prima facie. He also reached out to me for an angel round where in (Inmobi co-founder) Naveen Tewari and others participated.

But I took time on reaching an informed decision primarily due to the amount required to invest. By the time I decided, they got the round closed with IDG Ventures and I could not participate. Since the amount required was larger than what I usually put into start-ups, it took me bit of a time to think. I lost on speed. Today, the company has an illustrious set of investors, which includes Ratan Tata, Tiger Global, DST Global and IDG, etc. It has quickly grown to becoming the number one home rental space in the country. The lesson I learnt is that if you have right team and large market to address, exceptions are worth making.

Secondly, good founders are being chased and they don’t chase investors. So, speed and quick decision making is the key to deal with them.