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A founder’s passion outweighs their experience, says Rahul Garg, an angel investor and founder and managing partner, Leo Capital.
A founder’s passion outweighs their experience, says Rahul Garg, an angel investor and founder and managing partner, Leo Capital.

Why Rivigo is in angel investor Rajul Garg's anti-portfolio

  • Angel investor Rajul Garg saw scale as a roadblock in Rivigo's growth in a operationally heavy business
  • Rivigo's angel round was priced nearly 7-8 times the price Rajul Garg did deals at that point of time

Shining brightly on my wall of misses, or anti-portfolio, as an angel investor is Rivigo. Deepak Garg, the company’s founder, had pitched to me pre-launch as he was on his way out of McKinsey. I met him a few times and saw the materials. I had both motive and opportunity.

Deepak’s articulation of the problem was the best I had seen for that stage of the company. The famous relay model that they later implemented was clearly articulated, the business plan was clearly thought through in detail and Deepak was very passionate.

I liked him instantly. The market was very large. There are two reasons I didn’t invest. First, I felt the business is going to be very operational. I worried also that Deepak had mostly worked in consulting and if he will be able to manage and scale this operationally heavy business. Second, the angel round was priced really high—nearly seven-eight times the price that I usually did angel deals at the time. They already had another participating investor at that price, so there was no question of negotiating.

Rivigo has done very well and has reached a near-unicorn status in over three years and with over $100 million in funding. They have a large market still ahead of them and should continue to grow. My first lesson is that a founder’s passion outweighs their experience. This is a hard one to call for me still, since I do ask myself the question—“why will this founder succeed in this business?". In case of Rivigo, the fact that it was so well thought-through at concept stage should have been enough for me.

My second lesson, which I believe I have learnt well is that best investments can be pricey but can still be very rewarding. I only wish the very best to Rivigo and I am happy to watch their success from the sidelines. 

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