We have always believed at LetsVenture that the ‘best’ startups, the ‘hottest’ startups are all a retrospective index. While one can estimate a startup’s success, gauging the same as an angel investor can be hard. It is like finding the chess master in kindergarten by looking at all the kids who play chess well. With LetsGrow, we aim at helping startups to go from Seed to Series A/B rounds.
As an angel investor, success is defined by our portfolio exits. Every fund, every investor is finally known by its portfolio – very few will be known for the number of startups they invested in. At LetsVenture, our 5-year journey seems symbolic in more ways than just the number. We instituted startup reporting on our platform last year. Today, we have our portfolio startups reporting to investors through the platform every quarter. Also, investor calls are being set up.
Where does the LV Portfolio stand?
Since 2013, LetsVenture has enabled 170 funding rounds with a total of ~70Mn being raised. 33 of these startups have gone on to raise further rounds, and 4 have got acquired. The total current value of LetsVenture portfolio is 3910 Cr (i.e. $550m). Some of our star portfolios companies like Testbook, DailyNinja, Bobble, and MyUpchar have received high valuations in their follow-on rounds.
While valuations are no doubt important, it is not the sole metric by which we measure our portfolio. The fact that marquee VCs and corporates from India and abroad have led follow-on rounds of our portfolio startups is the ‘market evidence’ of the quality of startups that raised their angel rounds through us. Some VCs that have invested in our portfolio companies are SAIF Partners, Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, BEENEXT, Nokia Growth Capital, Shunwei Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Omidyar Network and Orios Venture Partners among others. There have already been 3 cash-exits for the angel investors. And, the unrealised IRR (Internal Rate of Return) for the 2014 portfolio, as of April 2018, stands at 31%.
It is not just the numbers, but also the diversity that makes our portfolio stand out. LetsVenture witnesses some of the top angels investing across a variety of sectors at the early stage. Examples of our portfolio companies include startups that include native ads in mobile games with an immersive user experience. Also, there are vernacular startups in the healthcare content space with a 10 million monthly active user. There is another startup providing credit access to the middle-class for their healthcare needs,
The sheer numbers, performance, and diversity of our portfolio have further reinforced our belief in our thesis of ‘crowd curation’ by angel investors.
Common Patterns with all success stories
- Today, lead investors work with founders to set up metrics to track at the time of the round closure. Founders may not clearly understand the baseline metrics to target in order to be ready for the next round. A lot of this today happens intuitively – which at times could be counter-intuitive.
- Founders reach out to a large number of investors ahead of time to gauge their readiness of fundraising for the next round. We believe talking to investors at the right time is critical for success. Reaching out too early could create the challenge of battling perceptions at a later point in time.
- Planning the next round of fundraising is a lot about managing financial numbers well. Not having enough money in the bank when starting the process could lead to the lack of negotiating power. Also, lack of time to find the right investor who could contribute to the business growth can be another factor.
- Some Founders are not proactively communicating with investors about business progress. In the startup space, no news is NOT good news.
In the Pre-Series A/B and Series A market (sub-$5Mn round), we are seeing few i-bankers willing to give the time and attention required, partially because an offline solution does not give business ROI. As a marketplace who has understood investor preferences and organized the more difficult early stage segment, we believe LetsGrow is the obvious progression.
What is LetsGrow?
LetsGrow is the next step in the journey of LetsVenture to enable startups to go from Seed to Series A/B rounds. With its large network of Angel Investors and Industry experts, LetsGrow will now help startups identify the right metrics that they would need to target when they raise growth capital of $1-5M. This announcement comes with the early validation we have had with our portfolio companies like Trell & LetsMD who recently raised growth capital with us.
To lead the LetsGrow initiative for LetsVenture, we are excited to have Vivek Khare join the team. Vivek has been an early leader at InfoEdge, scaling Naukri.com from early stage to category dominance and eventual IPO. He also led Investments and Corporate Development at InfoEdge. Vivek is also an early investor in companies like Zomato, Jaypore, Cashify and Meritnation. In his 24 years career, he has scaled up companies. Also, he has been a part of companies that have not scaled up. This makes him familiar with every nook and corner of the startup space.
LetsVenture currently works with 125 Family Offices & Corporates, and over 100 funds to facilitate the larger deal size of LetsGrow via the LV Titans platform.