Shanti Mohan, founder of LetsVenture reflects on successfully closing 100 deals, how the startup ecosystem has evolved and what LetsVenture is moving towards with the next 100 deals. #ventury
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”– Albert Einstein
When we founded LetsVenture in 2013, the Angel investing scenario in India was immensely different. Angel investing was limited to a small, closed group of people who were passionate enough about the startup ecosystem to take the effort to get involved by leveraging their personal time and resources. This would take the form of like-minded investors coming together to meet individual investors, reaching out to their network of close friends and colleagues to pool in money, find the right experts to do the paperwork and scramble to find the templates for various legal contracts & agreements. This process had a direct bearing on how the typical entrepreneur’s time was spent. Imagine a founder who had to create version after version of pitch decks, gather feedback, change accordingly and repeat this loop till they raised funding or dropped out of the race.
Essentially, the process was closed, offline and followed a high touch model that was clearly not scalable. In short, the rules of the game were vastly different.
So when we started evangelizing the idea of an online fundraising platform, there was understandable skepticism about how such a model would work. But as they say, it’s always impossible until it’s done. We had envisioned an online platform that would bring about transparency to the whole exercise, make the fundraising process simple enough to let the entrepreneur focus on building the business and would allow participation by Angel investors who had a latent desire to contribute to the startup ecosystem but didn’t know how to get started.
Would Indian investors and entrepreneurs adopt a digital platform? Would it be possible to take fundraising online? Would the desired benefits actually get delivered to the intended audience? The answer, as it appears, is an overwhelming YES.
The ride here was very memorable, from being the first to open funding to all startup sectors to on-boarding 12,000+ startups and 2,200+ vetted global investors to formalizing the lead-syndicate model to open-sourcing our legal documentation which many Angel networks have adopted as their standard and to now, having enabled a 100 deals on our platform raising a cumulative $38M+
Our goal was always to create a more open and transparent startup ecosystem where information asymmetry is not a competitive advantage and today we feel a 100 steps closer to that goal. So here’s a big thank you to all our investors, entrepreneurs and supporters from across the world for being a part of this exciting journey. We believe that we are just getting started!
Founder of LetsVenture.
Here are what some of our investors had to say about our #ventury :
“Letventure has democratized angel investing and made the process faster, more transparent and very founder friendly. Very excited to the progress that Letsventure has made in a very short period of time” – Rajan Anandan, Vice President, South East Asia and India, Google.
“LetsVenture is absolutely the leading platform for you to meet start-ups in India. No matter where in the world you are, if you are interested in knowing and participating/investing in the ever-growing and vibrant start-up ecosystem in India, LetsVenture is your choice of destination. They have an amazing team of people that is both entrepreneur-friendly and investor-friendly to enable a friction-free experience for all”. – Somasegar, Venture Partner, Madrona Venture Group. Ex- Corporate VP at Microsoft
“Heartiest congratulations to the LetsVenture team on closing the 100th deal on the platform. I still remember the early days when I joined LetsVenture and they have come a long way from those days to where they are today, the team constantly keeps innovating and improvising to build a bigger, better platform. They are now the pioneers in this domain in India and have set a high bar that will be hard for others to match. For me on a personal note LetsVenture has been very special because sitting in Chandigarh I got and still continue to get access to fantastic deals which would have not been possible otherwise. I wish Shanti and the team all the very best for the future!” – Munish Jauhar, Founding Curator – Chandigarh Hub at World Economic Forum