LV Insights

Angel Investing In A Downturn

2020 is off to a troubling start and how! While much of the world is grappling with a health crisis and is in lockdown mode to flatten the COVID-19 curve, the 11-year bull market is done and dusted; the bears have taken grip swiftly and surely. Federal governments and central banks globally have already opened the liquidity taps with what analysts called “unlimited quantitative easing” but economists are still divided on which side of the depression or recession line we will find ourselves. 

Having said whether you are investing in the public or private market – valuations have come off the highs and for companies where underlying fundamentals are strong, the base case for investments stays strong. For the public markets with listed companies, the mechanism to find value is not abstract – there are reports and deep sector experts to guide you, for a more balanced approach you have well established mutual funds with managers who have earned their stripes having weathered multiple investment cycles. 

But what about the private market or investing in startups? 

What motivated angel investors to pump money into Inmobi and Flipkart in India or Airbnb and Uber in the Valley, in the 2009-10 timeframe? We were in the midst of a global slowdown even then; at least from a ‘financial markets’ point of view, even if the main street economic impact was not as severe. As an angel investor, how do you make sense of the macros, balance your ‘gut instinct’ with the ‘science’ of angel investing and invest not just with your money but also with your experience into an early-stage startup? 

We’ll be addressing exactly this in the very first session of our Angel Investing Masterclass on Saturday 18th April at 11 am. One of our speakers was writing the first cheques to Flipkart and MuSigma in 2009 and the other was building his very first startup exactly then! Don’t miss this session with Ashish Gupta and Kashyap Deorah!

Ashish Gupta is one of the most successful Indian angel investors – one of the first to have invested in Flipkart, MuSigma, Daksh (acquired by IBM), Minjar (acquired by Nutanix), Merittrac (acquired by Manipal), and MakeMyTrip. A graduate from IIT Kanpur and an alumnus of Stanford University, Ashish is an entrepreneur too. His price comparison startup Junglee was acquired by Amazon in 1998. In 2000, he co-founded Tavant Technologies. Later, he did a fellowship program with Kauffman to explore the depths of the VC business and founded Helion Ventures in 2006. 

While Ashish is known to have a knack for making the right calls when it comes to angel investing, Kashyap Deorah is a serial entrepreneur. While pursuing graduation at IIT Bombay, Kashyap founded Righthalf (acquired by Stratify) in 2000. He then founded Chaupati Bazaar which was acquired by Kishore Biyani’s Future Group. Later, he founded a mobile-based payment system for restaurants in the US called Chalo that was acquired by OpenTable. In 2016, Kashyap founded HyperTrack – a platform that helps apps track the activities of their users. Besides, Kashyap has invested in more than 20 startups across India and the United States including MyToppr, Meesho, Springboard, and Chaayos.

Register now for LetsVenture’s Angel Investing Masterclass. In this day-long programme, figure out how to invest in a downturn, how to diligence startups, arrive at valuations & negotiate term sheets. 

LV Master Class - Angel Investing in a downturn

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