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Business News/ Companies / People/  Anti-portfolio | I look for perseverance of the entrepreneur to execute plan against all odds possible: Sachin Tagra

I have been investing in startups over the last four years and have invested in 10 companies in an individual capacity. I invest directly and through angel investment platforms like Venture Catalysts, LetsVenture, etc. I like early-stage tech businesses across sectors with a bias toward B2B opportunities.

As angel investors, we look for many variables while making an investment decision, but, for me, the most important thing is the problem a startup is solving and how large the market for that economic solution is. Secondly, I look for perseverance of the entrepreneur to execute the plan against all odds possible. Thirdly, I take into account the founder’s approach to cash burn while scaling up the business.

When I met Varun (Sheth) a few years ago for investing in Ketto—a crowdfunding platform—I was not convinced that consumers will donate towards social causes through a digital-only crowdfunding platform when we have so many NGOs in our country trying to do the same.

I also had apprehension around the ability of the founding team to execute this change in behaviour among consumers. I recently happened to meet Varun at a professional gathering and was pleasantly surprised to know that they have scaled up to 2,000 fund-raising campaigns a month with a monthly fund-raise of approximately 10 crore by 50,000 individual donors. Another interesting aspect was to know repeat donation behaviour among individual consumers, going beyond families and affiliates.

Ketto is also one of the few angel-funded startups that have grown to be operationally profitable with limited capital and created significant value for the early investors. As more than 85% of the fund-raise is for medical causes and education support, I also missed an opportunity to earn good Karma points in life by not investing in Ketto.

The writer is Angel investor and head-Capital18, Network18 Group

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Updated: 26 Feb 2019, 12:55 AM IST
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