Q1. What makes Key Venture different from other investing companies?
A. Key Ventures serves as an ideal startup ecosystem. Ours is a very customized and personalized fund raiser process. Today we have a large bunch of fund raiser in the form of Angel Networks, Boutique Bankers, Investment Bankers, Advisors, and Consultants etc. At Key Venture the Key Difference is that we believe in building a relation with the entrepreneurs. We work very closely with the entrepreneurs in building an effective deck, validated financial model, business marketing and strategic plans. We evaluate and prepare an entrepreneur through an Investors’ lenses and make them 100% ready for investments. We focus strongly on mapping right investors to the entrepreneurs who understand the venture, are passionate about the idea and ready to be a part of the roller coaster ride. We understand that eliminating gaps among each other plays a critical role in startup & investors’ community. And Key Venture as an entity brings the communities together for a longer and successful journey.
Q2. What do you think is the future of startups in India?
A. There is a great future for startups in India. Introduction to GST and Make In India initiatives by our government have given a momentum of change. I have been a part of this industry from its very nascent stage way back 2008 and have witnessed its growth length and breath. Various innovation and interventions by startups has given us an access to a large amount of goods and services but I still feel a lot more can be done, it’s just the tip of an iceberg and beginning of an era.
World’s Fifth Largest Economy is now chasing bigger dreams as well as bigger numbers.
Q3. What according to you is the best way to gather funding for a startup?
A. For any person the very first thing close to him is his family. And the bond of trust is always deeply rooted among us. Hence, family being one’s first approach is never considered unprofessional. So, in the first place we usually suggest an entrepreneur to use his personal resources – personal saving, funding from friends and family at an idea stage. Post MVP / customer validation is when they should raise capital from HNIs, Angels, SEED VC and Early VC.
However, because of lack of experience some common trials and errors are bound to happen during fund raising. Entrepreneurs are not very well prepared with their pitch and depend on the luck factor.
Remember, where money is involved, everyone is looking for ROI on their investments. An investor evaluates every possible thing while taking a decision to invest in any venture – Core Team, Product & Services, Market Opportunity, Sales & Distribution Strategy, Scalability, Entry barriers, Revenue Streams, Expenses – Fixed and Variable month on month.
Just Believe in yourself and stick to a plan. Raising startup funding and managing the funds is hard work. But once you understand the working of industries, it is not so difficult to move ahead in the business.
Q4. How has the journey been like, from being an employee in Mumbai Angels to having a successful venture firm under your name?
A. It has been a very steep learning curve. Ups and downs were always there. I had a dream and I knew I had to work towards it. I was always blessed to have extremely supportive people around me and being a part of my growth journey. My family, friends and everyone I met on this long journey have always been there with me. A typical HR question which was asked a few years ago, “Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?” has been answered and been accomplished. It makes me feel very happy about everything. Because now I know, the struggles were worth it all.
Q5. When and how did the entrepreneurial bug hit you?
A. Born and brought up in Kolkata’s well-to-do Marwari family, Business was the factor rooted in our inherent genes. My parents were always my biggest inspiration. I think it was more of a matter of right time and right interests. I believed in starting of something I was really passionate about. But my secrets lie in right experiences, resources, and support system around me. After being associated with Startup Investment and Advisory business for close to 10 years I gained 360 degree experience of the industry. Only then I thought it was The Time to for me to live my dreams. And after that, I just got started!
Q6. What is your advice to young, budding entrepreneurs?
A. Richard Branson, English Business Magnate, says his biggest motivation is to keep challenging himself. So, go forward and take risks because that’s how you’ll learn. Instead of asking yourself “What” ask yourself “Why”. Why do you want to do something? Once you know that, your vision will be set.
So, the secret mantra which I always followed by myself was ‘Do something which you truly believe in’; money shall follow it eventually. Experience is must before starting your own venture. There is a huge pool of money available in the Economy, now people are searching for Smart Startups and Smart Money rather visa versa.
Q7. Where do you see Key Venture in the next five years?
A. Key Venture’s only vision and mission exclusively aims at Startup Funding Made Easy and investors to get the best ROI on their investments. Now we as a team are looking forward to closing few more quality deals; maintain smiles on all entrepreneurs’ faces, be among best performing portfolio companies to the respective investors.
Q8. What is the “Key to Success”?
A. You should always be passionate about your aims. I always believed in hard work. My parents always taught me to eliminate short cuts. And hard work comes with determination. Be determined towards your goals and believe in yourself. Make a roadmap and follow the set timelines like a bible.