Finding the 'Money'

By Harshad Lahoti, Founding Partner & CEO, ah! Ventures

Harshad Lahoti, Founding Partner & CEO, ah! Ventures

Headquartered in Mumbai, ah! Ventures is a growth catalyst that brings together promising businesses and investors for creating wealth generation opportunities. It was established in 2009, with unique blend of customized services, skill and domain experience which serves both investors and entrepreneurs by locating promising investment opportunities and evaluating them in a manner that eliminates doubt and facilitates savvy decision making.

Startup ecosystem in India is proliferating with over $5 billion worth investment in 2015. The funding scenario is on upswing currently as the emerging investors in the arena has flashed a growth of 2.3X leading to a boost in fundings in 2015 by 125 percent over 2014 as per NASSCOM report. However, the organizations might face slowdown in terms of angel funding as the stock market has crashed. This might force startups to reduce their cash burn rate and in re-assessing the business model because most of the funds are getting diverted by stock markets, where the investors are finding value at the moment. But once the stock market regains its composition, the money is expected to find its way into the startup investment as it was.

Three Important Factors that Attract Funding

Startups require venture capital for their growth and sustainability. The primary factor that attracts funds is the quality of the team, which is the startup’s linchpin. Absolute clarity regarding the target, immense knowledge about the market and clear-cut idea of growth is the need of the hour, whereas beating around the bush may prove dangerous. Startups should never lose their focus on business objective and have a blueprint of how they intend to eventually go step by step.
The teams’ starts flying high once the funds are raised, forgetting the obligation of raising funds. The realization of the fact that raising funds is the first step towards the final goal and not the goal itself will help the team to be grounded. Attracting funds demand core understanding of the investment society and extreme co-operation of the team with the investors.

Startups Ought to be Tech- Enabled

It doesn’t matter whether it is a tech start-up or not, technological enablement has become the compulsion for businesses. The tremendous paradigm shift in business processes due to the rapid growth in technology has led to a situation where the businesses will be paralyzed without technology. In such a scenario, one either has to embrace the changes or face elimination. Investors will definitely be interested in the technologically equipped organizations, especially the ventures that revolve around IoT. As the cyber attacks and security threats are increasing rapidly security start-ups are also expected to attract funding.  
        
e-Commerce Funding

Lots of internal acquisitions are happening like the way Myntra was taken over by Flipkart. e-Commerce companies used to get funded a lot and valued in millions. As reality lies in the shadow, most of the e-commerce companies are losing cash and at the same time being refunded enormously to beat the competition. Scenario is such that companies hardly reveal the real numbers, may it be the profit or amount of money spent. However, as the realization persists that their business models are not sustainable; funding has been lessened which can be perceived as the emergence of the downturn. (As told to Pushpita Das & Subarna Saha)

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