31 episodes

The Desi VC is a weekly podcast hosted by Akash Bhat, devoted to interviewing angel investors and venture capitalists investing in tech startups in India across all sectors and of all check sizes.

Tune in to hear India's leading investors discuss current trends in venture capital and touch upon topics such as fund-raising, valuation, pricing, business models, exit scenarios, sustainable investing among others.

About the host: Akash Bhat works on the investment team at Scrum Ventures, a San Francisco based sector agnostic VC firm investing in Seed and Series A startups. Follow him on Twitter - @bhatvakash or visit https://www.thedesivc.com

The Desi VC: Indian Venture Capital | Angel Investors | Startups | VC Akash Bhat

    • Investing
    • 5.0 • 17 Ratings

The Desi VC is a weekly podcast hosted by Akash Bhat, devoted to interviewing angel investors and venture capitalists investing in tech startups in India across all sectors and of all check sizes.

Tune in to hear India's leading investors discuss current trends in venture capital and touch upon topics such as fund-raising, valuation, pricing, business models, exit scenarios, sustainable investing among others.

About the host: Akash Bhat works on the investment team at Scrum Ventures, a San Francisco based sector agnostic VC firm investing in Seed and Series A startups. Follow him on Twitter - @bhatvakash or visit https://www.thedesivc.com

    Sasha Mirchandani (Managing Director & Founder, Kae Capital) | Decentralizing Venture Capital in India

    Sasha Mirchandani (Managing Director & Founder, Kae Capital) | Decentralizing Venture Capital in India

    Sasha Mirchandani is Managing Director and Founder of Kae Capital and Co-founder Mumbai Angels. Previously, he was at Blue Run Ventures as Managing Director for the India operations. Before joining Blue Run Ventures he was CEO and Founder of Imercius Technologies. Earlier he was at Mirc Electronics (Onida) where he was Head of Corporate Affairs and new business.

    Follow Sasha on Twitter (@sashamirchi), host Akash Bhat (@bhatvakash) and our podcast (@thedesi_vc).
    . . .
    The Desi Startups of the Week:
    1. Aisle: Aisle is a dating app for Indians around the world
    2. Sarva: India’s largest and only Yoga based wellness ecosystem
    . . .
    In this week’s episode, we will cover:
    1. Impact of COVID personally and professionally (3:30)
    2. Learnings during COVID as an investor (6:55)
    3. LP sentiment and concerns (10:58)
    4. Sasha’s background (15:50)
    5. How did Mumbai Angels come into being? (20:05)
    6. When should an angel think about raising institutional capital for his/her fund? (24:55)
    7. Mistakes angels make during investing (26:31)
    8. Sasha’s thesis during the early days on angel investing (28:00)
    9. Evolution of investment thesis at Kae Capital across funds (29:45)
    10. How do you decentralize venture capital in India to allow for more investors to enter the market (35:42)
    11. Rapid fire (39:50)

    • 42 min
    Utsav Somani (Partner, Angel List India and iSeed) | The Rise of Micro VC and Nano VC in India

    Utsav Somani (Partner, Angel List India and iSeed) | The Rise of Micro VC and Nano VC in India

    Utsav Somani is a Partner at AngelList India and General Partner at iSeed (a seed-stage fund looking to bridge successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and Indian founders in the search of money as well as the expertise and knowledge of scaling up a startup).
    Follow Utsav (@somani_utsav), host Akash (@bhatvakash) and our podcast (@thedesi_vc) on Twitter.
    . . .
    The Desi Startups of the Week:
    1. Flatheads: Flatheads is an all-day casual sneakers designed for work wear and optimized for 14-hour comfort.
    2. MoveABox: MoveABox is Bangalore-based startup helping people to vacate and relocate their homes in a personalized manner.
    . . .
    In today’s episode we will cover:
    1. Micro VC –– overcrowded with competition or not? (7:50)
    2. Recap of VC landscape during COVID (17:08)
    3. Raising a fund during the months of the lockdown (21:18)
    4. Takeaways from raising a fund (22:56)
    5. Utsav’s background (24:14)
    6. What is Micro VC and how does Utsav see it within the Indian context (27:11)
    7. Why is there a rise in Micro VC funds across India? (29:48)
    8. Is Micro VC more riskier? (35:13)
    9. What is the value proposition of a Micro VC (37:16)
    10. How does an emerging fund manager attract good deal flow? (41:54)
    11. Trend –– LPs turning GPs (48:13)
    12. Dissection of Utsav’s tweet on the disconnect between macro trends (51:14)
    13. Rapid fire (52:02)

    • 1 hr
    Rutvik Doshi (General Partner, Inventus Capital India) | How To Raise A Fund (Domestically)

    Rutvik Doshi (General Partner, Inventus Capital India) | How To Raise A Fund (Domestically)

    Rutvik Doshi is the General Partner at Inventus Capital India, early stage Venture Capital firm that invests in Pre Series A and Series A. Rutvik has participated in India’s fast emerging internet ecosystem since 2007, first with Google where he launched several products including Voice Search, Google Mobile App, SMS Channels and managed Google News globally, and most recently as the CEO of ecommerce startup Taggle in Bangalore. Before Google he spent 6 years in the US building internet management software for CA Technologies. Rutvik holds a B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur and an MBA from INSEAD, France.
    Follow Rutvik (@rutvik), host Akash Bhat (@bhatvakash) and our podcast (@thedesi_vc) on Twitter.
    . . .
    The Desi Startups of the Week:
    1. Project PIF: Project Pay-It-Forward is a cloud-based mentorship platform for graduate admissions
    2. Podium: Podium is a platform that brings people closer to have virtual conversations around social issues.
    . . .
    In this episode we will cover:
    . . . (Part 1) . . .
    1. Impact of COVID on fund dynamics and larger macro economic trends (5:24)
    2. How did LP’s react to the pandemic (7:44)
    3: Investment strategy during Covid and plans for the future (13:11)
    4. How did Inventus India Capital build rapport with founders during the pandemic, in the absence of F2F meetings? (18:38)
    5. Rutvik’s background and sequence of events leading up to Inventus (19:58)
    6. Evolution of VC in India (28:06)
    7. Investment thesis at Inventus (32:21)
    8. Importance of forging strong relationships with other VC firms in India (37:17)
    . . . (Part 2) . . .
    9. Raising domestic capital –– Has India reached a point of comfort to invest in VC as an asset class? (42:51)
    10. Why is it better to have Indian investors than global? (44:44)
    11. What should emerging fund managers be prepared for when they speak to potential LP candidates? (49:02)
    12. How many calls do VC’s have with potential LPs (53:53)
    13. How do the Partners split fundraising responsibilities (55:53)
    14. When will see a change in venture investing to bring more profitability? (1:00:09)
    15. Lobbying in India (1:02:41)
    16. Raising money from foreign investors or Indian? (1:05:42)
    17. Rapid fire (1:08:05)

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Vinay Bansal (CEO, Inflection Point Ventures) | Investing With A Wide Network of CXOs

    Vinay Bansal (CEO, Inflection Point Ventures) | Investing With A Wide Network of CXOs

    Vinay Bansal is the CEO at Inflection Point Ventures, an early stage angel investing platform. He is a finance professional and turnaround specialist with 20+ years of experience across Fortune 50 companies, private equity & startups. Last, he was Senior Advisor at TPG Global and before that CFO & CIO at Wildcraft India. He is a Chartered Accountant by qualification and spent the first 14 years of his career in leadership positions across Financial Management and Manufacturing / Supply-chain sourcing functions at GE and Hindustan Unilever.
    Follow host Akash Bhat (@bhatvakash) and our podcast (@thedesi_vc) on Twitter.
    . . .
    The Desi Startups of the Week:
    1. Fire.Fly: Fire.Fly is a Bangalore-based learning & development startup focusing on teaching the values of creativity & compassion through online & offline workshops and experiences.
    2. Leher App: Leher App is a social network built around video discussions that connects people around their interests and passions.
    . . .
    In this episode, we will cover:
    1. Vinay Intro (2:43)
    2. Covid impact –– Macro-level and portfolio-level (3:43)
    3. Why has IPV been active when other VC firms have been conservative in their approach during covid (6:48)
    4. Will companies getting funded now continue to see similar success post-covid? (11:21)
    5. How can startups leverage the pandemic to create moats (16:21)
    6. Vinay’s background (20:07)
    7. Challenges of being an agnostic firm (28:58)
    8. Time management for GPs (33:16)
    9. What is CXO genie and how’s that unique to IPV (35:57)
    10. How to measure success of a mentor-driven program? (41:29)
    11. Measuring portfolio returns and communication with LPs (46:27)
    12. Best practices for LP communication (52:20)
    13. Rapid fire (55:13)

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Melissa Frakman (Founder & Managing Partner, EMVC) | FinTech Investing in India

    Melissa Frakman (Founder & Managing Partner, EMVC) | FinTech Investing in India

    Melissa Frakman is the founder & managing partner of Emphasis Ventures (EMVC), a venture capital fund investing in early-stage fintech startups in India. She brings 15 years of experience participating in India’s digital revolution to bridge worlds for entrepreneurs and companies. Named on the “Global Fintech PowerList” by Innovate Finance, Melissa has led early stage investments in asia, supported new market strategy, and built partnerships worth over $1 billion for 15 of the Fortune 100 companies.

    Follow Melissa (@melissafrakman), host Akash Bhat (@bhatvakash) and our podcast (@thedesi_vc) on Twitter.
    . . .
    The Desi Startup of the Week:
    Piggy: Piggy is a next generation mutual fund investment app that simplifies investments.
    . . .
    In this episode, we will cover:
    1. Sectors within FinTech that have stood out during the pandemic (4:12)
    2. Melissa’s journey so far (5:46)
    3. Why does Melissa think India has a more robust and advanced FinTech ecosystem than other markets (10:48)
    4. FinTech: Bundling vs Unbundling (14:00)
    5. FinTech investment trends and risks associated with investing in the space (17:04)
    6. The FinTech opportunity: Urban, Middle and Rural India (19:43)
    7. FinTech challenges within rural India (24:05)
    8. Educating the masses: Is it the role of the govt. or startups? (25:53)
    9. Innovation with UPI (28:15)
    10. Assessing FinTech startups (31:16)
    11. Traditional financial institutions: opportunity or threat? (35:37)
    12. How does EMVC add value to their portfolio (37:58)
    13. Rapid fire (40:23)
    14. Ways to get in touch with Melissa (48:20)

    • 49 min
    Pankaj Jain (Angel Investor & Ex-Partner, 500 Startups) | Angel Investing Across Countries & Running Syndicates

    Pankaj Jain (Angel Investor & Ex-Partner, 500 Startups) | Angel Investing Across Countries & Running Syndicates

    Pankaj Jain is an angel investor and Ex-Partner at 500 Startups, a California-based seed fund and accelerator program. Pankaj focuses on investing in early stage startups across India, United States, and South Asia and has led investments in over fifty companies.
    Pankaj spent over 12 years in the Financial industry at firms such as JP Morgan, Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) and GlobeOp Financial Services in various operational roles including enterprise mortgage risk management, application development, market data infrastructure, trade management, pricing infrastructure and customer service areas.
    In 2007, Pankaj’s adventures in India began, where he started a company building an on-demand, employment marketplace for the under-served. In 2008, Pankaj became a co-founder of the HeadStart Network Foundation and the led the efforts in Delhi. In late 2010, he began setting up Startup Weekend in India.
    Follow Pankaj (@pjain), host Akash Bhat (@bhatvakash), and our podcast (@thedesi_vc) on Twitter. Pankaj also runs a YouTube channel on investing titled Invest Steam.
    . . .
    The Desi Startups Of The Week:
    1. Oropocket: Oropocket is an investment platform allowing you to invest in precious metals and digital assets.
    2. Basis: India's only platform focussed on the holistic financial wellness of the urban Indian woman.
    . . .
    In this episode, we will cover:
    1. Intro (3:51)
    2. The new normal (6:15)
    3. Impact of the pandemic on VC investments (8:56)
    4. Pankaj’s journey into venture capital and investing (19:45)
    5. Which period in his professional career does Pankaj consider the most crucial (40:26)
    6. Differences between angel investing and venture investing (51:21)
    7. How influential can an angel be (54:14)
    8. How do angels add value (59:41)
    9. How can VCs and angels work together? (1:07:23)
    10. Angel investing in India vs angel investing in the US (1:12:11)
    11. Founder evolution from Pankaj’s experience in all these years on investing (1:17:54)
    12. How do angels measure success? (1:33:10)
    13. Intangible returns for angels (1:36:53)
    14. Why did Pankaj decide to run an angel syndicate rather than starting a VC fund? (1:40:08)
    15. Rapid fire (1:45:52)

    • 1 hr 57 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

vssvinesh ,

Structured and Insightful Podcast

Very well structured podcast ever. The footnotes really help to understand the glimpse of the podcast before listening.

sdrth0 ,

Very well structured

Insightful episodes and powerful guests

Arth Gupta ,

Exponentially informative

Informative, yet palpable. Good work!

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