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‘What we need today is smart capital rather than just capital’ — 25 quotes from Investor Summit 2021

Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a weekly feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our articles of this past week. This special compilation of quotes is divided into five categories: Market trends, Corporate engagement, Revenues & profits, Fundraising, and The India opportunity.

See also our full coverage of the conference, as well as compilations of quotes from Future of Work 2021 and TechSparks 2020. Share these 25 gems and insights with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights.

Market trends

We are back to pre-COVID levels. There’s no slowdown in terms of companies getting funded or entrepreneurs starting up. – Amit Somani, Prime Ventures

Everybody is going to have geopolitics whenever they launch any market or they raise capital. In fact, diplomacy and geopolitics play on for a long time, and we cannot ascertain the exact number of years. – Ashish Dave, Mirae Asset Venture

What we need today is smart capital rather than just capital. – Swapna Gupta, Qualcomm Ventures

Whenever a new form of distribution comes, let’s say mobile or OTT platforms, there is a secret amount of value that goes into building such platforms, while content takes a backseat. – Pankaj Makkar, Bertelsmann India Investments

The time taken to build large SaaS companies is smaller. What typically used to take seven-eight years can now be done in four years, which is within every fund’s target. – Shripati Acharya, Prime Venture Partners


Corporate engagement

Startups can learn from corporate VC firms as they have decades of experience in running businesses and also need to leverage them as network accelerators. – Tanuj Shori, SquareYards

We often hear that startups are eating corporates for lunch, but the point is that corporates can’t move without startups and vice versa. – Swapna Gupta, Qualcomm Ventures

Startups should ally with enterprises with the same core business because of the mentorship opportunities and the access to product and tech leaders they can provide. – Mitesh Jain, Akamai Technologies

Every Indian business house should find their own motto, define their vision for the next 20 years, where and at what stage the startups will play a role, and then design a team based on the objectives. – Anup Jain, Orios Venture Partners

Revenues and profits

Revenues are a good source of funding. Profit is an even better source, so we do want to see a path to profitability. – Seema Chaturvedi, AWE Funds

Customers are a vanity metric. For example, you may have a lot of free customers and you feel they will be your users in future and they don’t turn out to be. Focusing on customers who are getting you MRR is a value metric. – Prasanna Krishnamoorthy, Upekkha Catalyst

There’s a big market out there and startups need a GTM and product-market fit in place. – Siddharth Mehta, Shell Ventures

Balancing growth vs profitable growth at a unit level is an important perspective to have. – Karan Mohla, Partner, Chiratae Ventures



Today, though the market is flooded with capital, you have to innovate and have innovative ways in terms of actually raising capital as well. – Shreyansh Singhal, Ankur Capital

Founders should not throw some fancy numbers they have not really thought about. – Vinod Shankar, Java Capital

If there’s an opportunity to raise money in a seed round, Series A and B, then a founder should look at raising equity funds or money from institutional VCs rather than raising debt funding. – Rupesh Kumar Mishra, PagarBook

Founders mistake funding to be a milestone. They need to understand that with funding, there comes a greater amount of responsibility. Funding is important, but it cannot be the only goal. – Mitesh Shah, Inflection Point Ventures

Valuation is work in progress. It is like dating wherein we want to understand the founder. – Chinmaya Saxena, BEENEXT

The future is largely uncertain and therefore, valuation is like putting a number on that uncertainty. – Nitin Golani, BYJU’S


The India opportunity

There is a wave of exits in India’s startup ecosystem. – Kashyap Chanchani, The RainMaker Group

In India, you do need to show a track record of profit before you IPO. It’s not compulsory, as per law, but the Indian public market does not like loss-making companies. – Pankaj Makkar, Bertelsmann India Investments

Most schools and colleges have adopted technology, more out of force, but we’re hoping that’s going to leave digital traces in terms of technology being used for admissions, campus placements, or evaluations. – Radhika Agarwal, Blume Ventures

Venture funds like massive markets and India will continue to take the lion’s share when it comes to capital. – Ashish Dave, Mirae Asset Venture Investments

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

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