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AwareMonk , Official account of AwareMonk Nov, 12 2016

Impact of demonetization on startup investments- Ask Sanjay Mehta



Like any ecosystem in India, the demonetization has led to several doubts in the Start-up community. Sanjay Mehta, a seasoned investor and expert of the industry, will answer questions about the Impact of demonetization on the investment trends in the Start-up space


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Folks it was fun chatting with you all. Signing off for now. Follow me on twitter @mehtasanjay


Nilesh Pathak , Pursuing MS, CMU Nov, 12 2016


What do you think about oyo like entrepreneurship in India. Raise funds raise funds and raise more funds. Kill a great idea by over funding


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Oyo is doing well.


Nilesh Pathak , Pursuing MS, CMU Nov, 12 2016


Sanjay Mehta which are the startups that aspiring entrepreneurs should look upto as role models?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


My take is Whataspp for its small rockstar technology team which manage scale so efficiently at global scale


In India I find Zippr (www.zippr.in) which is building infrastructure for India. These innovation will be measured in generations as it will solve Indias basic problem of structured address for homes. Addhar for dwellings.

My take is Whataspp for its small rockstar technology team which manage scale so efficiently at global scaleIn India I find Zippr (www.zippr.in) which is building infrastructure for India. These innovation will be measured in generations as it will solve Indias basic problem of structured address fo


Nakul Rawat , . Nov, 12 2016


Sanjay Mehta has there ever been any serious conflicts with an entrepreneur? One which brought contractual obligations into the equation? If so, how did you deal with it?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


If there is conflict best was is to disclose and move ahead with consensus.


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Entrepreneurs what is the top 3 challenges you are facing today besides capital?


Rahul Gupta , Techie by education, writer by profession, cu Nov, 12 2016


I think it's the user mindset.

In last five years all Indian products introduced themselves to users by luring them through discounts. This has made people avers to the practice of paying for extra value one receives.



Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


We have seen fee model like bookmyshow. So it's all about focus on top line or bottom line as priority.


Aman Singh , IIT; Designer by choice, engineer by force Nov, 12 2016


1. Investors curtailing creative liberty

2. Raising funds is seen as a metric for success, rather than a starting point



Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Media has made raising funds as success.


Investors invest on business plan & if there is a pivot it's founders job to convince or get buy in from investors on new model or creativity.



Rajshekhar , student at BITS goa. I am here to learn. Nov, 12 2016


Scaling over product market fit. I worked for a start-up which just wanted to focus on numbers as their investors poked them everyday.


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Investors will poke only if there is no momentum.


Nakul Rawat , . Nov, 12 2016


Hahahaa spoken like a true investor :p


Varun ravikant , Work in the field of Agriculture and want to Nov, 12 2016


The spoilt market where prices for employing a coder and advertising have sky rocketed

Ecosystem where there is no energy to build but enormous energy to raise capital

The mentality that only IIT and IIM grads have it in them



Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


The Bigger They Are The Slower They Move - So to compete against large enterprises look at speed as your advantage.


Rajeev Gutpa , BITSian Nov, 12 2016


That's a fine question

1. committed team

2. unconditioning the public

3. demonstrating usability under capital constraints



Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


This is where maverick entrepreneurs come to play to make believe all the team in his vision & get them to commit equally. It's all about founders own energy & enthusiasm.


Consumer behavior is tough to change so create pain killer solution rather than vitamin solutions


Resources will always be scarce even for biggest of the companies be it in terms of capital, manpower etc. Its all about how efficiently founder solves and balances current situations while building for future.

This is where maverick entrepreneurs come to play to make believe all the team in his vision & get them to commit equally. It's all about founders own energy & enthusiasm.Consumer behavior is tough to change so create pain killer solution rather than vitamin solutionsResources will always be


Rajshekhar , student at BITS goa. I am here to learn. Nov, 12 2016


1.) cofounder mindset of exit.

2.) lack of patience in investors.

3.) jugad preferred over innovation



Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Buy the co-founder out if you are in long term.


Investors should see rationale to have patience with business momentum. If nothing is happening then they will get restless.


Jugad is short lived so keep your eye on innovation.



Kabir Narang , BITSian '07 Nov, 12 2016


This might seem a little off-topic, but how much do you think your education helped you in the real grind? Were there any key learnings or was the credibility and the network the major gains?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Education was not helpful in practical terms but gave me rich network of connections & also helped me develop my thinking process to problems.


Paras Mahikansh , Happiness can be found even in the darkest of Nov, 12 2016


As an Entrepreneur Mr. Sanjay, what is the one thing that you would have done differently in your journey which would have altered your life a lot


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Focus on solving one problem and not exited (sold business) early.


Aravinth Srinivasan , Planning to start a startup in agriculture Nov, 12 2016


Why do you feel Bitcoin hasn't picked up? It was supposedly the next big thing but never heard anything happening about it at all, or is it that there are just no advertisements and thus nothing much 'seems' to be happening


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


In recent times bitcoin has grown in value. Adoption is increasing but I am very bullish on alt coins which are solving a purpose. I have invested in couple of cryptocurrencies. I believe the value of bitcoin by 2020 will grow from current 50-55k to 200K


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


ICO are new ways of raising funds.


Ashima Singh , Exploring Nov, 12 2016


What is the best way to approach you for an investment opportunity? Are there any hidden dos and don'ts?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Best was is to get introduced by someone whom I know else drop me an email at mehtasanjay @ gmail.com


Also read the blog on what I will not invest in https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/15-ideas-startups-i-fund-sanjay-mehta?trk=mp-author-card



Shanu Sharma , Preparing for IIT, confused and dazzled about Nov, 12 2016


Sanjay Mehta Sir, what sector do you think will prosper now in India, which sector is the future and which sector do you think needs to be worked on, as no innovation has taken place but a lot of works needs to be done


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Read my blog for interest areas for investment https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-startups-fund-2016-sanjay-mehta?trk=mp-author-card


Ishita Nangia , Not it. Nov, 12 2016


Sanjay Mehta Are there any investment opportunities you wish you hadn't passed up on?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


I regret not having done CleverTap, HapTik, StayZilla, and couple of more.


Jayant Singha , Save the planet Nov, 12 2016


Investment market in the recent past was going a little down, will this step get it back on track and increase the pace of investments? Since the entrepreneurs might not be interested in making short term money finally but look towards long term innovation


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Investments in startups will go up in 2017


Vikram Gupta , Exploring, learning, believing Nov, 12 2016


Will this demonetization act as the much needed "purge"? Almost everyone wanted to be an entrepreneur, this would probably skim-of the non-serious ones damaging the ecosystem


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Demonetization will help entrepreneurs as their business is emerging & they can quickly adjust to this new normal.


Shantanu Karunesh , Inquisitive folk Nov, 12 2016


Will it boost the confidence for investors as finally the money put will be put to good and apt use, there wont be any corruption/ black marketing due to the strict laws and thus invite a lot more investors to india since india is finally proceeding towards a financially stable market?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Yes I strongly believe so. We should be huge inflow of FDI in 2017. Companies and investors who were sitting on fence to invest in India market will now jump on the opportunities.


Sneha Singh , CA by profession with a lot of interest in th Nov, 12 2016


In the recent times in this startup ecosystem there were unjustifiable valuation in any case under indian laws for a lot of companies (like Tiny Owl at 100 million $ and Housing at 300 million $) , this required a lot of money laundering that was happening. Now is theres a possibility that the startups investment might go down and thus a clean environment emerges at the least?
In the recent times in this startup ecosystem there were unjustifiable valuation in any case under indian laws for a lot of companies (like Tiny Owl at 100 million $ and Housing at 300 million $) , this required a lot of money laundering that was happening. Now is theres a possibility that the start


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Innovation in Finance & Legal is not welcomed.


No money laundering has happened in these deals as all VCs & PE have many checks & balances to ensure they invest and engage in companies which will adhere to law of the land.


Feroz Khan , Social change enthusiast Nov, 12 2016


Sir, I will like your take on this. The awaremonk founders have cleverly ignored my question in the past- can you elaborate on how awaremonk might be functioning? There are no ads, or subscription fees, how are they making money? More importantly, aren't they burning more than what they could potentially earn later on? In addition to that, how can they ever earn if they go with the same no-ad policy?
Sir, I will like your take on this. The awaremonk founders have cleverly ignored my question in the past- can you elaborate on how awaremonk might be functioning? There are no ads, or subscription fees, how are they making money? More importantly, aren't they burning more than what they could potent


Akhil Singh , Co-Founder at Awaremonk.com Unlearning all th Nov, 12 2016


Hi Feroz Khan,

I am one of the founders of awaremonk.

We believe in existence of a space where people can come and have good discussions on important issues. And people have supported the need of such a platform. I know you are an early adopter too. Our quest is to provide this experience of thoughtfulness to as many as possible.

In process of creation we are obsessed about keeping the burn as low as possible as we truly believe that there is only model of innovation and that's the lean model.


Hi Feroz Khan, I am one of the founders of awaremonk. We believe in existence of a space where people can come and have good discussions on important issues. And people have supported the need of such a platform. I know you are an early adopter too. Our quest is to provide this experience of though


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


I would not like to comment as I do not have insights on their business model, team, burn etc.


Feroz Khan , Social change enthusiast Nov, 12 2016


Same answer by Kashyap Deorah as well :(


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


No one can comment without data or insights.


Kanika , IITian Nov, 12 2016


Sanjay Mehta Sir, in your personal sphere, do you have an inclination towards either, product or tech? In tech products, what should be the mindset of an investor before investing? I believe revenue generation takes a (temporary) backseat, and the focus is on carving out a niche


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


I would look at


Rockstar tech team

A large market opportunity.

A WOW product with IP

Key Partners/ Early Evangelists.

A solution/ offer customers will buy/use.

A “Market Validated Business Model” that is both repeatable, predictable and scalable.

A unfair advantage to make profits

A hunger for Resources and Investment to grow


These are the traits which investors look for.

I would look at Rockstar tech team A large market opportunity. A WOW product with IP Key Partners/ Early Evangelists. A solution/ offer customers will buy/use. A “Market Validated Business Model” that is both repeatable, predictable and scalable. A unfair advantage to make profits A hunger for


Feroz Khan , Social change enthusiast Nov, 12 2016


Sir, how does one quantify the market opportunity, before even launching? I know that sounds like a stupid question, but in pure tech startups, i really don't think it's possible to quantify such parameters


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


In India every problem is large and everything you look at is a potential opportunity. So be specific in terms of what are you trying to estimate.


Naveen tripathi , Economic honours with more passion into Engin Nov, 12 2016


Angel investments for the startups have always happened with legal money but the traditional business always had an added advantage due to lobbying and black money in circulation that was there. With this move cause trouble for the desi lala type businesses help the sophisticated startup business?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Yes this is opportunity for companies doing legitimate business to get level playing field


Sahil Khanna , 9 years of experience in running 4 successful Nov, 12 2016


This surely is a hard step taken, from what i have been reading investors from abroad are scared that Indian financial decisions are taking too strongly and the financial system is not stable. Will this instability decrease the confidence of foreign investors?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


It will increase confidence in government and the central bank (RBI). It gives more trust on legitimate business.


Kanika , IITian Nov, 12 2016


That's a new angle. Everywhere I've turned, it's just all been doom and gloom


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Short term pain will be there. It's all about adjusting to the new normal.


Rajshekhar , student at BITS goa. I am here to learn. Nov, 12 2016


I think VC and PE will also start to focus on tech. Pure Tech and product investments will now be seen seriously by vcs and pe. What do you think?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


They look at both tech & non tech. As you would have heard "Software or Mobile is eating the world" hence all businesses are either tech or tech enabled.


Rajshekhar , student at BITS goa. I am here to learn. Nov, 12 2016


I mean products which are not just driven by tech but have no other aspect to it. Like Twitter or Snapchat or take awaremonk for eg.


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Social media or business which are primarily driven by revenues from advertisements will suffer as digital marketing budgets are taken away by google & fb.


Vikram Gupta , Exploring, learning, believing Nov, 12 2016


So what should be the aim of social media startups? If not to generate revenues?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


I never said not to generate revenues. I said any startups which is dependent on advertisement to survive will suffer and customers or brands will prefer to spend on google or fb or known media brand than an unknown startup. While digital advertising is growing, In India print & TV are very strong.
I never said not to generate revenues. I said any startups which is dependent on advertisement to survive will suffer and customers or brands will prefer to spend on google or fb or known media brand than an unknown startup. While digital advertising is growing, In India print & TV are very stro


Abhinav , Student at IIT-B Nov, 12 2016


Sanjay Mehta I was going through your LinkedIn profile and saw that you're really a serial investor. Can you tell us what clicks for you in a proposition for you to pursue it? Do you also consciously try to diversify your portfolio?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Yes I have diversified portfolio. I believe in founders over markets and disruption over differentiation.


Feroz Khan , Social change enthusiast Nov, 12 2016


Sir, if you don't mind, can you list the top 5 companies you've invested in? Top 5 in terms of your level of satisfaction with the investment


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Top Investments in Value


Oyo Rooms (Exited)

LogiNext - Data Analytics

Box8 - QSR

Mech Mocha - Game Studio

Consure - Medical Device company


Top Investments Satisfaction


Zippr - Smart Address Consumer Internet Company

Adstringo - Compression Algorithm for Image & Video

SaffronStays - Luxury Home Network

NaturallyYours - FMCG Online Brand for Organic Food

RepUp - Hospitality Analytics

Top Investments in ValueOyo Rooms (Exited)LogiNext - Data AnalyticsBox8 - QSRMech Mocha - Game StudioConsure - Medical Device companyTop Investments SatisfactionZippr - Smart Address Consumer Internet CompanyAdstringo - Compression Algorithm for Image & VideoSaffronStays - Luxury Home NetworkNat


Priya Malhotra , BITSian Nov, 12 2016


Sanjay Mehta Sir, you must be getting loads of pitches. Have you seen any marked difference in the last few days? Is there more of an air of desperation?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


I see over hundreds of pitches in a month be it on linkedin or email or in events but I do not see entrepreneurs desperate. Yes they are aggressive but it's positive way.


Saunika Mahewari , An agri-farming consultant Nov, 12 2016


Up till now angel investors had a lot of cash dealings in India, now with this curb of black money the black money cash flow might stop,the angel investors economic status will also reduce, will this cause a permanent halt in angel investment in India?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Strongly disagree. No angel investments are happening in cash.


Abhinav , Student at IIT-B Nov, 12 2016


Really sir? You don't feel that any investor in your network has indulged in that practice? From what I've heard, a lot of investors are running helter skelter, trying to get their money in white sorted first


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Strongly Disagree. I have invested in over 60+ deals and there are no cash transactions at all.


Abhinav , Student at IIT-B Nov, 12 2016


That's commendable! :)


Rajeev Gutpa , BITSian Nov, 12 2016


Don't you feel this is a regressive step in terms of "Start-up India?" As far as my network goes, everybody is either fearing going under, or are looking for foreign investments


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


First time government has official recognized entrepreneurs especially emerging technology companies as a potential job creation. Most of the ideas which are going down under are either not solving the right problems or founder are throwing in towel very quickly.


Akanksha Sharma , Start-up rookie Nov, 12 2016


Sanjay Mehta how do you see the start-up space moulding itself over the next few months?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


I see positive movement with more opportunities getting created for entrepreneurs and digital commerce will grow in multifolds


Ahmed Azab , Interested in history, Political science and Nov, 12 2016


But won't it affect angel investment by individuals?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


In short term because the business velocity has decreased and everybody will adjust to new normal. It will get settled in couple of months but in long term business momentum will pick up rapidly.


Abhinav , Student at IIT-B Nov, 12 2016


That's encouraging!


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


As an entrepreneurs keep in mind that ideas are fragile, keep nurturing them & do not look at short term.


Rajeev Gutpa , BITSian Nov, 12 2016


Do you mean to say that the community will remain immune to demonetization?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Angel investing will see a dip but VC & PE will see growth


Priya Malhotra , BITSian Nov, 12 2016


Sir can you elaborate a bit on how that'll happen?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Government will have surplus funds which will help them to see in infrastructure spending. Banks due to deposits will have opportunity to lend at lower interest rates. Inflation will be down. Many of these macro factors will help economy to get huge stimulus hence PE & VC firms will invest in companies which can ride on these sunrise sectors.
Government will have surplus funds which will help them to see in infrastructure spending. Banks due to deposits will have opportunity to lend at lower interest rates. Inflation will be down. Many of these macro factors will help economy to get huge stimulus hence PE & VC firms will invest in co


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


While in short term investor sentiments might see a dip but we should a good bull run in PE space in 6 months time


Rajshekhar , student at BITS goa. I am here to learn. Nov, 12 2016


Will this affect the dry spell ecosystem is witnessing? If yes in positive or negative way?


Sanjay Mehta , Angel & PE Investor Nov, 12 2016


Series A, B etc were tough. We should see those deals to start picking up in 2017.