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Secret Key to the Heart of Venture Capitalists
Vani Kola
Managing Director- Kalaari Capital
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Kalaari Capital is a $160 million venture capital fund with a strong advisory team in Bangalore investing in early-stage, technology-oriented companies in India.

We are at the doorstep of the era dreamt by visionaries for centuries. Not only newer technologies are emerging every day but also the existing technologies are being utilized in a newer way. For instance, mobile phones which were merely used for entertainment consumption is now being used in health and wellness. Likewise, social media is transforming the customer service industry. Being a major technology investor, we seek for someone who employs technology to create such disruptive value. Currently, we invest predominantly in mobile, enterprise, internet services, education, healthcare and social media. As technology trends change every so often, even in mature space like online travel we look for a company who can rethink the space with unique ideas that will provide profound integration of social, customer and interesting usability.

Commitment is the Key

Though we look into the technology or the offerings of the company before funding, we also consider the quality of entrepreneurs and their vision to create a large business that can mould them as a leader in the market space. But their commitment towards transforming this idea into reality is imperative. Apart from the team's capability to work in the chaos of a startup, their ability to learn continuously and transforming their business value is equally important. Along with the clarification of the basic idea as a consistent plan margin, if one had a deep understanding of the unique economy and scope of the market space, they will have a better chance of interesting the VC. Amidst the large market, one must be clear about the unique value proposition that will multiple the investments.

From 2006, numerous startups are getting funded significantly in Series A and even Pre-series A in angel as well as VC investments. Especially, there are particularly high VC investments giving a chance to these startups to prove their potential. Though we can't compete with developed countries like U.S. who started the investing concept 40 years ago, there is still a lot of interest in India. However, the companies must show that they can generate good returns and have a policy good enough to support the investors. Otherwise, the interest will wither away.

Being the Support System

The companies need different kinds of support at different stages. In the beginning, we support them with idea validation, bringing deals, customer introduction and intriguing them to be focused on the strategy. Later, it is about scaling the business. The focus will be on acquiring funds to scale the business, ensuring continuous growth, expansion and creation of exit for the business.

My Piece of Advice

Building a company is never a cake walk. One should fundamentally be his/her own cheerleader and it is crucial to absolutely believe in his/her idea. On the other hand, they should also be open to feedbacks coming from the market
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