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Business News/ Companies / Start-ups/  Anti-Portfolio | 'Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity'
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Anti-Portfolio | 'Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity'

Missed out on investing in an AI platform Haptik that has now processed 2 billion interactions
  • Can’t take investment decisions in a hurry, so had to pass the deal a third time on Haptik in two years
  • Sanjay Mehta, Angel investorPremium
    Sanjay Mehta, Angel investor

    Haptik pitched on 12 July 2014, when it was a mobile app story with no jargon about chatbot or AI. A mobile app that allows users to get help, support, and information through messages from company experts. For users, this means avoiding calling companies or searching through websites and FAQs. For firms, this means getting a direct asynchronous channel to communicate with users, avoiding expensive call centre calls. With this narrative, I was excited with the deal.

    We sent out a formal investment engagement interest in Haptik to founder Aakrit Vaish. Our conference call got fixed for 18 July that year. On the same day, just 2 hours before the call, I saw Aakrit’s email in my inbox. It said, “We already had a couple of term sheets on the table. We have decided to go ahead with one of them, as it is a large fund that meets all our criteria as well as people we have known for a while." In October that year, Aakrit sent out an offer for value-added investors like me to join in with a convertible note with 20% discount to the next round. I was excited again seeing a window of opportunity to get into Haptik cap table. I couldn’t muster courage to take a bet as I compared Haptik with Quora, which was hugely popular. This convertible note round without a valuation cap, I felt, would be a very costly deal.

    I again met Aakrit in a family office pitch when he was raising Series A in September the next year and offer for the terms came on 29 September with a 48-hour window to reply. I can’t take investment decisions in a hurry, so had to pass the deal a third time on Haptik in two years. It is said that nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity. Today, Haptik has grown to become one of the world’s largest independent conversational AI platforms. It now has processed more than 2 billion interactions, driven between users and AI bots.

    A section where investors talk about missed opportunities in startup investments.

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    Published: 20 May 2019, 09:01 PM IST
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