The kind of pace that the companies were expected to grow at did not match the infrastructure or the market for most sectors, the lessons investors and entrepreneurs say they have learnt from the funding slowdown are beginning to sound like cliches.
The Real culprits that brakes on a vibrant startup industry is excess money, inflated valuations and a blind push for growth
There was discord as well on whom to pin the blame, and that’s where there likely are more lessons to be learnt.
“‘Growth at any cost’ was the mantra,” added Menon, CEO of India’s biggest online grocery retailer. India added three billion-dollar ‘startups’, or Unicorns, in 2015 and one in January, which totals to half of all the Unicorns the country can boast of.
Venture capital firms invested $6.7 billion (nearly Rs 45,000 crore) across 480 deals in 2015, show data collated by startups tracker Xeler8, which is more than double the $2.7 billion they invested across 317 deals in the year prior- this clearly shoes unparalleled growth propelled by investors chasing the next Unicorn and impatient entrepreneurs skewered how businesses are built.
Supporting this, funds piped in more and more money at higher valuations and entrepreneurs readily chased more and more customers until, suddenly, the valuations became too bloated for the investors. Then the tap shut.
Entrepreneurs should not confuse the valuation of the company with their own self-worth,” said early-stage investor Bharati Jacob of Seedfund, which has backed intercity bus aggregator redBus and online fashion store Voonik, among several others. “I think any entrepreneur must build for value and the valuation will then chase you.”
Menon , CEO of India’s biggest online grocery retaile said
“it was okay for entrepreneurs to chase capital as long as it provided a runway for their businesses to grow. “The idea of higher stake and valuation is mythical. Raising small amount of money and waiting for six months to see if it works does not hold good,”
BigBasket is valued at $500 million after it raised $150 million in March in funding led by Dubaibased private equity firm Abraaj Group.
Especially in its early years, there was consensus in the panel that the investor’s role in shaping a startup is crucial. Start up that sober approach to business-building and stronger investor-founder relations are necessary to grow.