Investors are more interested in smart founders, not ideas2 min read . Updated: 27 May 2020, 10:01 PM IST
As the startup world fights the pandemic to stay afloat, most organizations are looking for ways to re-strategize to attract investors
NEW DELHI : Deepak Grover says he’s in a sweet spot. While most sectors have been hit by covid-19, his startup Snack Amor, incubated with WeWork Labs, secured funding in late March.
“Three years ago, when we launched, a lot of people said this was a bit premature for the Indian market. But the timing couldn’t have been better. People are more selective about what they eat, and how they are prepared; they are willing to pay higher prices for quality products," says Grover, whose Snack Amor sells dried fruits and berries, trail mixes and other healthy snacks.
However, he admits there has been “some pushback and concerns from investors now". “The appetite for investing has come down and they are selective. They want to see if you are really confident about your product before they put in their money," he says.
As the startup world fights the pandemic to stay afloat, most organizations are looking for ways to re-strategize to attract investors. Investors, however, are more interested in founders than ideas.
Padmaja Ruparel, co-founder, India Angel Network, says most startups will not be able to give projections now, which is why the emphasis is on founders. “We are looking for founders with depth of knowledge and thinking tenacity—those who can say, ‘Hey, I know the world is changing, but I am prepared to change with this, and this is how we will be going ahead, but I need your help, both as a mentor and as an investor, to make this work’."
Shivjeet Ghatge, co-founder and CEO of health tech platform StepSetGo, is thinking along similar lines. The bootstrapped startup had seen a steady flow of interest from investors since its launch in 2019. Though the scenario has been quite profitable for the health tech space, Ghatge is being cautious. “We are using this time not to expand, but to strengthen our core product, which is why our investment ask is also lower. I believe that investors are looking for startups with a strong baseline model for growth, because if I am able to provide solutions at a time like this, I have the potential to grow further."
Investors typically ask what problem the startup is aiming to solve before putting in their money. But now, things are changing. “The new question is how will the consumer behave to a problem that a startup is pitching to solve. If you dig into this question, many things come up—the demography, the gender, their psychology. Right now what is attractive to us are ideas that are aimed at making consumers’ lives easier," says Pravin Khandelwal, chief consultant (leadership and motivation), Risers Accelerator.
These sectors include tech-based healthcare and consumer supply chain which he believes will see robust growth in the next 5-10 years. Investors are also relaxing timelines. “Even if a startup achieves 50-60% of their timeline, that is okay with us. We know that times are tough," he adds.