Venture Capital Today A Perspective

Sanjay Subhedar
Sanjay Subhedar
Co-founder & Managing Director, 
Storm Ventures

The Venture Capital industry is evolving and changing as well and there are three BIG changes in Venture Capital that I will highlight.
First, innovation has become more global and is no longer the exclusive domain of Silicon Valley and Route 128 in Boston. Many of the Silicon Valley funds have opened offices in China, India, Israel and Vietnam. As a result VC funds have had to provide capital to these entrepreneurs in other geographies. Second, the Venture industry has matured and has become more specialized and institutionalized. We now have VC funds that have a sector focus or a stage focus or a geography focus. When you are looking for Venture funding, entrepreneurs should make sure they are matching their needs with the VC funds focus. Some of the tech sectors that have funds focused exclusively on them are; Life Sciences, Biotech, Cleantech, Digital Media, SaaS.

Thirdly, the industry has become more efficient and more responsive to the needs of the entrepreneur as a result of greater professionalism and greater competition. Now most VC’s view themselves as service providers whose job is to provide advice and counsel, this adds value to the enterprise and to the entrepreneurs and to bring more than just cash to the table. Many VC’s tend to be successful entrepreneurs themselves and can therefore relate to the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and can help with recruiting, partnerships for sales and distribution and strategies to finance and build a large successful enterprise. Entrepreneurs should look for a VC that not only is a source of capital but also has deep industry knowledge and a broad network.

Ten years ago we at Storm Ventures were investing in Bandwidth, Mobility and Intelligence. We were looking for companies that could help deliver MORE Compute, MORE Storage and MORE Bandwidth. Today we are benefiting from these investments and those prior innovations have built some great infrastructure that enables new waves of innovation. Looking ahead the focus is not on MORE but rather on how you can do MORE with LESS. Investments in Virtualization, Cloud, Mobility, SaaS are therefore of higher interest to us at Storm Ventures as they can deliver increases in productivity and efficiency for enterprises and consumers at a lower cost.

It is an exciting time to be an innovator/entrepreneur. Just make sure that you are addressing a market that is large, have some expertise and knowledge of that market domain and recruit a great team of engineers and marketers who know how to leverage the platforms for manufacturing like Foxcon, HTC and more. WIPRO, Infosys for software development and testing, Computing (such as Amazon Web Services /AWS-EC2, Google App Engine, Microsoft Windows Azure, Rackspace Cloud); storage (such as Microsoft Windows Azure xStore, AWS S3, Dropbox). You should also understand the platforms for marketing, distribution and word of mouth endorsements which are at very large scale (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+) as well as Sales platforms that can help you sell your product or service(such as iTunes, Amazon, eBay, Force, Android Marketplace).

These platform partners give you and your business the ability to scale quickly at low cost without compromising quality and to do it all on a slim budget.

It has never been easier to start a company but it has become more competitive than ever before. Success depends on execution which depends on having the right team and the right strategy. Not easy unless you and your team know how to leverage the ecosystem.
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Reader's comments(2)
1: Good sir, Thanks for guidance. We know to deliver the best. I would like to know if any VC interested in Indian agriculture.
J k Niagam jitendraknigam at gmail
Posted by:Dr J K Nigam - 21 Sep, 2012
2: good information
Posted by:Bakul Valambhiya - 19 Apr, 2012

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