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Delayed Gratification – The essence of Angel Investing with Raghunandan G

Delayed gratification is the very foundation of investing. We avoid spending $1,000 today in order to save thousands in future. That’s what it’s about.  And those that save and invest consistently year after year inevitably end up with wealth that the less conservative players can only dream of.

“Be mentally prepared for losses before investing in private markets”. Apt words from Raghunandan G, Founder of Zolve & TaxiForSure.com.

Commenting on the mentality of founders and angels in the Indian ecosystem Raghunandan says that many Angels don’t invest to earn money, but invest to be “pseudo entrepreneurs”. And for entrepreneurs turned angels, it is more likely to pay it forward to the ecosystem. 

In this Episode of Private Market Investing, Raghunandan talks about Portfolio construction, managing exits and the sense of delayed gratification in Angel investing. 

Listen to the entire episode here – https://bit.ly/3pLQke7

Read the full conversation below!


The Private Market show | Episode 2 | Raghunandan G

Shanti   

Welcome to the LetsVenture Angel Podcast. I’m very excited to host you today to understand your approach towards angel investing. So we would first love to understand your entrepreneurial journey before we get into angel investing.

Raghu

It’s great to be a part of the LetsVenture podcast series. I think, apart from the money and the fame that that journey gave us, I think it was more of a journey towards self-discovery, we understood a whole lot of our ourselves and also understood a lot more about the ecosystem and the community that we live in, where how all those people come together to really ensure the success of a startup. Even though it’s our name tied to the company, it’s more of the community, the ecosystem, and several other people who came together came forward to help us out to get to wherever we got to. And my angel investment thesis to do pay it forward more than just looking for returns and things like that. 

Shanti

What is the kind of difference you saw when you were on the other side of the table? So, when you were a founder your understanding of angel investors, and you being an angel investor, was there a shift? Or was there any realization you had when you actually became an angel investor on how people evaluate businesses? 

Raghu  

Well, a very interesting question, Shanti. Sometimes I think about whether I would have invested in my own startup? I’m not really sure I would. So back then from the investors we were only just looking at money; nothing else, we just wanted money. But these days, I think that the standing of angel investors has gone up significantly and because of the choices that companies have. So they want to look at apart from the money what else can they get from the angel investors? Is it their experience? Is it their network? Is it the connections? Is it that our thinking abilities would act as a sounding board? So there are multiple ways people slice and dice angel investors, and they choose whoever can help them out? But these days, as angel investors, we are a lot more involved – we identify ourselves with the success of the company. 

This is even though on the returns side nothing much changes for us whether we are a passive investor or an active one. But we indulge a lot more – the chemistry between the founders, and the angel is a lot more important than what it was earlier. Money is probably the first thing that we do but that’s not the only thing. Over time we realized that money is the least important thing that we are helping the company with. 

Shanti  

But I think you made one very, very interesting point, which you said, an angel investor today identifies himself with the returns of the company. Right? And that actually is very true Raghu. Because today, when you look at the ecosystem, right, angel investing has become a business. Right? There is no more point when you’re saying, okay, there is a founder whom I know, and I like the idea, let me just go give the capital, because he knows how to build the company. Right? Today, you’re also saying that let me see how I can get associated, and how I can then identify myself because I need to build my brand as an angel investor. Right. So that is a little bit of a kind of a shift in probably the way the ecosystem is evolving. And the second point, which I kind of took away was that, about smart money, right? So how can you as an angel investor, identify your value addition to a good founder, so that you’re able to have them accept your capital? Because today the capital is more than enough available to good founders today?

Raghu   

Yeah, that’s correct. So Shanti, it’s a virtuous cycle. You invest money in a bunch of startups. And in two startups are successful. Because of it, you make a lot more returns on that startups. And because of those successful startups, you have a brand name as an angel, this also grows in the ecosystem, because of which the quality of the deal flow that comes to you also increases significantly, right, not just the deal for you, and your ability to convert those deals also increases significantly. All right. And if you get access to great deals, and if you’re able to convert those great deals right over a period of time your success just get more and more success. Right. So initial set of returns will get you more and more returns. So it becomes a virtuous cycle. Yes, because the startup has to/will matter.

Shanti   

Yes, absolutely. And Raghu, I saw that you made your first investment probably in 2015. And now it’s 2020. So talk to us about your journey from your first investment, right? What are the mistakes you did? You know, what, what how did you think? And we’ll come to the experience part later, but just want to talk about your first investment. And you know, how so how did you find the founder? How did you make the decision, what kind of triggered you to enter this asset class.


“I’ve realized that the market always wins. Bad market and a good team – nothing much happens there. A good market and a bad team, the market gives ample opportunities to learn from the market. And when a good market meets a great team, that’s when something special happens!”


Raghu  

So I think from an asset class perspective right. So as I told during the introduction, a whole lot of people came forward and helped us out during our journey. And possibly, we’re not in a position to go back and help those guys out at this stage, the only thing that we can possibly do is to help the next set of startups and ventures and things like that. So it’s more of a paid forward. So that’s how we started. Rather, I started looking at angel investing, right? So one is to help the other founders not to make the same mistake as we did. All right, in order to put our money where our mouth is, we started investing, right? And the initial deal flow came through personal networks, or referrals and stuff like that. Right? So we started committing to those, because initially we started believing in the team, right as a team takes care of everything, right. So if we started putting money on the team or a person we started making a whole lot of mistakes, I still continue to make a whole lot of mistakes. All right, there are startups, where I think that this is not going to go anywhere, but I have to commit some money. Because of some relationships, I commit some money and the startup turns out to be crazy, crazy startup and some, some startups, I think that this is going to go somewhere, oh, this is an amazing team, amazing space. Right? And they don’t, I mean, nothing really happens, happens over there. Right? I feel that. So it’s very difficult for me to really say that I have gotten the nooks and corners of angel investments and things like that. But having said that, there’s a whole lot of experience from our founders, only the team only kind of a setup. I know, I look at both the market and the team. Yes, we’re a bit of time, I’ve realized that the market always wins, bad market and a good and a great team know, the market means nothing much happens there. Right, and a good market and a bad team, even then the market gives the bad team ample amount of opportunities for them to learn from the market. All right. And when a good market meets a great team, that’s when something special happens. So our pursuit is always about figuring out a great team in a good market. Right? And then the probability of success increases significantly. So that’s been the case.

Shanti   

Yeah. So actually, you’re saying that, if it is a, it’s a very nascent market, and it requires a behavior change of a lot of people, then you have to re-evaluate whether the founder has the ability to navigate that, that nuances in tHat market and actually build a large company. Right. So that’s become one critical part of identifying large, large startups or, or startups which have the probability to succeed in very large markets? 

Okay. Now, if we kind of kind of going from your first investment, to some of maybe pick up, pick up one investment, you know, which you’ve done in the recent times, and if you can talk us again, through the thought process, because here the idea is that this is for people who want to understand this asset class.

Raghu  

Yeah, I think we can pick up Bounce for that matter. All right, so one, I think it’s in the mobility space. Right. And I think the calves where most people are around are significantly poorer. Maybe that would be more of a Sec A/Sec B population. Right Bounce, it’s more of a two wheeler mobility, more self drive, and things like that. Almost the bulk of the Indians know how to ride two wheelers so not a challenge and both men and women put together, right and capture on the expensive side, compared to probably the Bounce kind of things. So from a market or under a significant amount of Sec B, Sec C, Sec D population who would want to use two wheelers to commute. And it’s probably a cheaper and much faster alternative compared to the public transport available. And it actually solves the last mile also, right, people have to probably walk from the bus stand to wherever they need to go and stuff like that. Right. It’s an extremely large market and mobility sounds something that I would understand. So there is mobility assistance. And why that thing, and I do understand mobility, because I’ve seen a lot of customers, right as part of TFS. Also, right, I know how people would make decisions, right? When we started, the bulk of the customers used to use taxis only to go to the airport. Right? And during art and we saw that provided a good choice. Right at an affordable price. Most of the people start using taxis for everyday commute, also, right on similarly on the Bounce fleet also, I realized that the bike mobility space, right, if you can provide a good experience at an affordable price. So there is a huge, huge market for this because people are still walking and commuting, right? That doesn’t really change. So that was an idea, right? 

And why the Bounce team apart from all the other people who have been doing business after getting. So these bunch of…the Bounce founders, right, so they didn’t start the Bounce with true Bounce. So there were a bunch of guys who wanted it, we were interested in the weekend, the bike rides to nearby places and stuff like that. So they’ve been doing it for the last one or two years before they even got into Bounce. And I think I got into the company before Bounce became Bounce, they started it as a weekend ride more of a weekend getaway. And they realized that most of the people are using it for round trips. So they changed from Wicked rides to Metro bikes. And that’s when I started engaging with the company. After I put in money, that’s when they renamed themselves from Metro bikes to Bounce. So these people had a history, right, so they were trying to do so because they started with the weekends, because their weekend, bike ride enthusiasts, and some of the founders are not even they are not the typical founders that we see, which are more engineers and the B school guys and stuff like that. Right, Vivek who’s the founder is a CA, but he’s trying to build our tech business. So I understood that they live and breathe a space, right, or they have a filter. And the opportunity is not that they sat through and based on the date upon the thing, it’s not that this is the market kept on telling them that Okay, there is a weekend rides market. But a much larger market is within the city traveling and stuff like that. So they went after…moved from weekend to Metro bikes, looking after campuses and stuff like that. And during that experience, they realized that there are a whole lot of people who want to use it for point to point also, not just around Trek, so they got an understanding of the market. So the market is teaching. So as I told you, right, a good market always teaches, right, as long as the founders are willing to keep their eyes, ears and everything open, right? And they were not even full time. And they dude, we can, we could write it, they were doing their own full time jobs. On top of that they were doing this/running this as a hobby. But as the market started responding to them, right, and they started listening to the market, they went, they started providing what the market wanted than what they have. Right? And that’s a thing, right? So when we’re looking at the founder, stage one, it’s not just the pedigree of the founder and stuff like that. How agile they are? open they are? right, you can’t really fill something that’s already full. 

Raghu 

Right. So people are open to feedback and stuff like that, right. And then people are making changes because they’re responding to the market. Right? And that’s when you know that. So if they’re able to do this now, when they’re running this as a full time activity, they will do this a lot more. 

Then you know that this is probably the right set of guys to do this. So that’s how that’s how, and it’s turned out to be true. So I think Bounce is probably another billion dollar plus company now. Right. So those things are the ones which make a huge difference.

RaRaghunandan G, Founder, Zolve & TaxiforsureRaghunandan G, Founder Zolve & Taxiforsure

Shanti   

Absolutely. So switching from mobility to edtech. Edtech is probably the hottest space today in India, and you are an investor in Vedantu. So we’d love to hear about, you know, can you talk to us about that entire process of when you met the founder? Because I looked up Vedantu, and they’ve been founded in 2011. Right. So they’re not like, like, they have not started it because EdTech has become a big wave here today. They have. Yeah, 

Raghu  

When I invested in them, also EdTech was not really a big thing. Big thing. There. Right. So I mean, even from the Vedantu perspective, right so I have been associated with the Vedantu founders for a very long time. 

before I committed money and things like that. All right. And the basic backbone of the Vedantu guys was also they were doing offline coaching centers. All right. And when they saw that there were students who are traveling 100 kilometers to come to their offline coaching centers, they realized that the problem is not the right way to scale this business. 

All right. So that’s when they figured out that instead of doing offline, there is another way of reaching out to students so that people don’t have to really travel. Right. And the most obvious thing is to get into online education. They didn’t really get into online education, because that’s the fad. Everything is going digital. So we should also do something digital. So what if there is no education and stuff like that? Right. So why they went doing this, because they were already offering certain services as part of Lakhsya. So which was their previous venture? Right, and once they figured out limitations in an offline model, in order to scale, right, that’s how they adopted online. Alright, so because of it, these guys are not the guys who are doing the startup to build, create a value and amass a lot of value. These are the ones who are doing it, because they feel that they’re solving a huge problem. Right, and that’s a way to go about looking at the space. So that thing resonated very well. With me, when this education is a big market, right? And whatever that we do education, infrastructure is going to be a huge challenge. Often if our infrastructure instead of trying to invest heavily in building infrastructure, if there is a way for us to address these things, through online, right, with the Jio happening, 2014 2015 2016 timeframe, right. He’s also given a huge fillip to these things. And we’re banking on a bunch of guys who really are into imparting education with value greater than making money, or building a successful startup and stuff like that. Right? I thought it makes sense for me to be associated with this team at Vedantu who are really into making an impact and making a change in the way education is done and building the company. The valuation of the company is purely incidental.

Shanti   

Correct. That is that it is beautifully said that you go and create impact as an entrepreneur and your valuation should become incidental. So then when you talk about the market, right? Can you talk to an angel investor and say, how do you define the market? I know it’s a very broad term which people use when they say, you know, it has to be a good market, right. But you know, as an angel investor, you don’t have an analyst who’s going to analyze it and actually tell you what are the trends in the market? So as an angel investor, help us understand, how should I evaluate market potential when I talk to?

Raghu   

Okay, so one is to understand, see, everyone has their own experience. So for example, from my perspective, right, I tend to invest heavily on the b2c Consumer tech businesses because that is something that I understand really well. So I think I get, get to understand how the consumer thinks, feels, behaves, acts, right, how to convert and things like that. So that is what I restrict myself to b2c majority actually is bulk of my portfolio is in that thing, right. So they have a sense of what acts into a good market or a bad market and things like that. So what we typically look at is, what are the levers that would help the How big is the How large is the market? How many customers would really use something like this? Right, the first and the foremost thing that I do consciously these days is, earlier I would put myself as having a b2c business, right? I’m also a customer. Yes. Right. That hurts. I’m not probably with a general customer, right. So the first bias that I removed from things is to put myself as a customer.  All right. But what I do these days is to talk to a whole lot of people, before I make a perception about the market. 

all right, talk to different kinds of people and stuff like that. And once I hear about the problem that this particular company is trying to address, right, understand from what the actual cost actually customers, what would you Is there a real problem is there is there is no problem, if there is a problem, I look at how many of such kind of people exist, that gives a good size, it can be a very good initial problem looking at a very, very niche segment, that is not so attractive. To me, I’m looking at the more large scale kind of dismisses and stuff like that, right. And once, then I would probably look at some research reports on that segment, and all the other companies that have been working on that, thankfully, I’ve got access to a good and decent to a good network, through them, I get to reach out to some people and they take their inputs on how the market is evolving, and things like that. And I believe that the market is good, the market is beginners, and we are able to do few things, we should be able to get in there. Right? 

That’s something I’ve said we want the market in terms of an idea and the solution what these people are pursuing and separate that right, I look at, is there anything that they’re trying to change in the market for the solution to really work? Right? So if there is a significant change where the customers have to change their behavior, or some of the partners or the vendors have to change their behavior, or some of the banks or the financial institutions have to change the way that they do things? Right. Those are not really the ones that gets me excited. Because changing the behavior, it’s a Herculean task, it doesn’t really happen. Right? So those are the things. But there have been instances where I’ve taken certain bets on those places. Where if the what if the founder is right, 

let’s say those changes happen. What if the founder is right? how big the company can be? If the company, the founder is right, or the company can become a $10 billion company, I might still be interested, if the founder gets it, right. And even then it’s going to be, let’s say 500 million to a billion dollar company, it’s not worth the risk. But it does have to be significantly higher for us to, for me to really take the risk that because any behaviors, it’s not so easy, you can’t really change behavior overnight, and it’s a much more long term process. But if you’re able to pull change the behavior, then it has to be a much, much larger company.

That’s the way I look at it.

Shanti

So to a public market investor who has never invested in private markets, right? What would be your suggestion on how should we enter private markets? That is one? And second is you know, are they not to? Just like, basic rule of thumb, which you should follow by us looking at private markets? 

Raghu  

Sure, sure. So the way I would really look at it right, so everyone has their own networth? right. So, we typically divide the networth into multiple buckets. So what I would recommend for any investor, right, he or she should probably look at the whole thing in four different buckets. So one, let’s build the networth into four different buckets. One is the liquidity bucket. so which is cash in hand and things like that whenever there are interesting products to invest in, they can go ahead and invest in. The second one would be the debt and debt related products, right, which are probably not risky, but give a fixed return. 

Right. So it’s not just taking FDs, there are multiple variations of the markets, anybody investing in the public markets will typically know this. The third one would be on the equity and equity related products, whether it’s going to be mutual funds, direct equity, structures, rates, and stuff like that. The fourth thing would be the private markets. That’s a bucket. Right? And in terms of distribution, right, so typically, people keep it at 5%. liquidity, right? 30 to 40% on the debt side, right, another 30 to 40% on the equity side, and they keep the 10% for private investments. 

So that, in case if the entire 10% goes for the things, they will not be at a loss, 

complete loss and stuff like that. But if the 10% that really works out for them, it will easily surpass the remaining 90%. All right, so that’s, that’s, that’s that that’s how it will happen. So in case if it, so it’s a risky, risky investments, much more highly risky than the equity investments. But if the risk doesn’t go in your favor, we should not necessarily lose all the entire networth. Right? But the risk goes in your favor, right? The 10% is become so large that you don’t have to really do this. 

Shanti   

So Raghu. Just because you’re an entrepreneur, I am curious, and you are very much an integral part of the ecosystem. Is your allocation 10% or more than 10%? 

Raghu   

When I started, it was 10%. But that should, despite me being an angel investor, a large part of my portfolio is really doing good. So because of that 10% increase went beyond 50 to 60%.

 

All right, I have a bunch of guys and do the investment as part of the syndicate. And third thing is to become an LP in some of the funds. Right? So understand, get some experts on how they are evaluating and evaluating the startups and stuff like that, so that you get a foothold in the ecosystem so that you can understand the thing? Right, direct investments are significantly risk syndicates, you probably trust other people to understand the business a lot better than you do. And so be a little bit low on the low risk riskier, right, because other people also share the same risk with you. And the third thing on the fund route, right, a lot more a lot less, riskier than what it is the primary because the fund managers that you probably choose, I’ve been doing this for ages know, they have a lot of experience and what you have, and stuff like that. So that’s a way to possibly look at, look at all this, right? So the way I would look. So don’t expose more than 10% of your net worth into private investments. And this view that 10% is also because of these three categories, some part of it is through as an LP route, some part of it is through syndicate food, and some part of it is through direct route. 


“In a public market, the losses and the returns can happen more or less at the same time. right. But in the private markets, our losses appear sooner compared to the returns, and the longer you wait, the returns are far, far higher.”


Shanti  

Okay, okay. Okay, that’s great. But over the last five years, right, what is your recommendation on what should be a formula or the math? Like, what is the minimum number of deals I should do for me to at least see some return. And I’ve heard some numbers from angel investors, right. And I know that it’s still a broad formula. It’s not like cast in stone, but we’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

Raghu  

All right. So what they typically do is they keep some part of the money’s liquidity, right, and they invest in products with different tenures. So that they start getting some liquidity at different points in time, so that there is no point in investing everything at the same time. And then the good products that are coming in, they don’t have any liquidity to invest in. And no point in getting all the returns at the same time. Because then at that point in time, you may not really have some great products to invest in, not so everyone who’s doing it in the public markets, right, they automatically want a bit of time they learn, and they would have structured their investment aspect. So very, very much similar to that. Right? In the private markets also, typically, also, depending on the cheque sizes, and depending on the quantum of money, right? So it’s better to invest in at least five to 10 startups a year across different spaces and stuff like that. And people typically have a long term outlook to this, yes, not really one or two years and stuff like that, we should probably look at 10 to 15 years, yes to two or three cycles. Okay, angel investments and stuff like that. So then I think things will be. So if you’re looking at a two to three year window for private investments, right? It may not really make sense. But if you’re looking at a 10-15 year thing, typically you can look at it for four to five years as a single cycle. As far as angel investment irrespective of as a company gets an exit or not, probably a later stage investor would come and buy the angels, right at a series B series C stage. So typically, we’re looking at a four to five year window and you go through one or two cycles, right, you get a hang of how this thing really works. But right, so then the IRR will be far, far higher than the IRR, that even the equity markets do that. Right. And the thing here is if the companies are going to shut down, probably willingly, you’ll probably realize the loss sooner because successful exits will happen much later. Right. So if let’s say if you invest in 10 companies in year one, probably, let’s say six of those companies get shut down in the second year and third year. So you realize that, but the one or two companies, which are going to be hugely successful, would happen in year 4 or year 5, which will give you probably some 30x or 50x returns. right. It’s not 50% IRR, right? Find it 50,000 5,000% IRR. right that’s that’s a way to live. And that could easily surpass all the losses that you incurred in this some of the startups that didn’t really do well. So yeah, so people have to keep that in mind before they go ahead, because the losses will come sooner. But in a public market right, the losses and the returns can happen more or less at the same time. right. But in the private markets, our losses appear sooner compared to the returns, and the longer you wait, the returns are far, far higher. 

Shanti   

So this is delayed gratification in private markets,

Raghu   

delayed gratification, but the losses happen sooner, so not lose That’s the that’s the thing, right? So when these losses also doesn’t happen, the replication happens later, it’s probably easier to stomach that. But the loss happens a lot more sooner, because obviously, the companies which are not going anywhere will happen a lot.

Shanti  

That’s actually a very, very good point. I think it’s a, it’s a good point for investors to reflect on. Because even I didn’t think about this point, where, you know, when you start investing, and you start losing money quickly, you’re like, No, I don’t want to invest anymore, right. But probably the good ones are still to come. And, you know, you have to believe that the judgment you made when you wrote those checks was good enough for you to make some returns.

Raghu   

And I’ve also seen that some biases also creep in, when you are in that zone, when some of your investments are tanking. even though there are good investment opportunities, you do not want to write the check, because you are going through a bad experience. So that’s a bias. That’s one of the ways and if you’re in the zone, where you’ve got some amazing secondary, right, huge returns and stuff like that startup which you don’t even consider, you invested in, you start investing. So there are certain biases that really creeps in. But I think we are just humans. So it’s very difficult to dissociate ourselves from the emotional decisions that we make. But having having said that, right, so early upon, that I was starting to make, alright, if you’re going to get into this private market investments, be mentally prepared that the losses will you will get to see the losses first.  the gains much later. Right. And which is easy to say, but that is so so difficult to accept and move on with it.

Shanti   

We would love to hear about your thesis when you I mean, how did you write your thesis? Does an investor have to re-write his thesis every year? Right? When you’re a new investor? As you start investing more? Talk to us about investment thesis, right? 

Raghu  

See, so I don’t really make it too, too very complicated and things like that. Right. So because I think the biggest thing about angel investments is, it’s your personal money. You don’t have to answer to anybody. Apart from your wife, and your spouse and your in laws and stuff like that. So apart from that, so you get to that. So it’s an advantage in a way, and a huge disadvantage also. So there is no checks and balances, because it’s a personal money and things like that. So what so because which, right, over a period of time what, what I’ve done is not to go ahead and do individual investments.

So work with a bunch of folks to really go on. So it’s kind of a syndicate. 

All right. So not really a formal syndicate per se, but informal people who are like minded and stuff like that, right? And given that kind of access, that we have to other entrepreneurs, other people and things like that, right? So these were the people who want understand this market better. Right? And would they be willing to invest in this space? Right. And so there are places where I think even if, let’s say, when it comes to mobility, a lot of my other co investors will look up to me to really evaluate the startup and how right to guide the startup and stuff like that. When it comes to other spaces and stuff like that. Some I go with their sense of judgment and stuff like that. So so we have distributed the load, per se, right? And so we do more first principles based investing. 

Earlier when I started right, some checks I wrote, primarily because my gut said so. Alright without really doing, because it was my mind when I was doing it individually, and it was left to the founder to really get other people and stuff like that. And sometimes I would even be talking to the other co investors and things like that also, right. And so it’s it, some of them are worked, some of them obviously haven’t really worked. But over a period of time, I realized that that cannot be the best way to do it. Right. And for me to even engage with a startup better if I have a thesis around how the startup would evolve, right? How the market is going to evolve, how the startup is going to evolve in a evolving market. Right, and I get to see that happening, or if enough time, alright, so getting an angel check is to get a ringside view of the service can perform. And if you have a view on how the market is going to change, and how this startup is going to adapt to that change. And when you get to witness that right? Either you are right. Or you get to learn so much about the market and the startup and the founders, right. So that ways you the probability of you losing or incurring losses would start continue to reduce significantly. Right, those things have really worked out for me. Right. So in terms of thesis, it’s more first principles, 

Shanti

Yeah, but I actually loved your thesis on how you’re thinking about angel investing, because So can you talk about how do you think about exits? Do you do you have a exit strategy, which you say, you know, after three, four years, I should start seeing whether I can actively go and get exits? Or do you just leave it for the founders to come back to you?

all right. So my, my, the way I would really look at it is, so initially, at least when I started off, right, so I would want it to to just take the money out, whatever that I invested and keep only the returns. All right, over a period of time, I realized that that’s not the best way to do it. 

What is the learning there Raghu? 

Raghu 

So I take significant part of the money. So let’s say 50% of the money out whenever there is an opportunity to do the secondary, right, because that’s where the remaining 50% grows along with the company’s objective. But this 50%, if I start investing into much more early stage startups, can give me much, far higher returns, compared to the 50%. So I get to play the upside on the other company, the first company also, and I get to play early stage in other companies as well. So instead of just trying to protect my capital, so earlier I tried to protect my capital. But nowadays, it’s more about taking the money or using the returns. Right. And so what I do is I take the returns and reinvest that into other startups. So that way, I don’t have to allocate capital every year, because some of it isn’t because I’ve been doing it for the last five years. So there are these companies which are exiting that every year. So take that returns and use the returns to invest into startups in that year. So it’s kind of working out that way.

Shanti  

Absolutely. So thank you so much. This was wonderful. I think it was very refreshing to hear the views. 

Raghu  

Thanks, thanks. Thanks a lot. I really enjoyed the conversation. I think your questions were very, very apt, particular and specific. 


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