There are very few VCs in India who have seen more than 2 Venture Capital cycles play out. Then there are those select few who have raised more than 3 funds. And then there are even fewer those who have seen their portfolio companies go all the way and IPO.
Then there are the likes of Rahul Chandra who have started not one but 2 VC firms over the years apart from investing in some mega startups like MakeMyTrip and Bigbasket and companies that went all the way to do stellar IPOs like the micro finance firm, Spandana.
Starting all the way back in 1998 to co-founding Helion Venture Partners in 2006 to now starting a second innings with Arkam Ventures, Rahul has had a ringside view of the VC industry and the barren honesty is honestly, delightful.
No PR. Just plain talk.
This is a stellar episode and by far one of our favourites this season! 🔥
Timestamps of topics covered:
2:15- 3 phases of Indian VC since 2006, changing criteria, how valuations have become frothy, shift in VC biz from a ‘rule based businesses to an ‘exception business’
8:55- How multiple VC funds compete and collaborate in the same rounds, enter Tiger Global and cash burning competition (Ola vs TaxiForSure case)
15:50- Is India really innovating? Early stage companies behaving like big consumer brands
20:30- Irrational exuberance, shift in Masa Son style investing vs value investing; impact of low interest rates in early-stage VC investing
27:30- Rahul’s anti-portfolio, missing BookMyShow because of small TAM
33:30- Credit landscape then and now; How Spandana recovered from Tamil Nadu government banning microfinance industry to IPO in 2019
49:50- Dissecting the “Middle Income” 400 million base in India; why Arkam Ventures has a thesis for targeting this base
1:03:00- Book reading from The Moonshot Game, covering what happened when Helion Venture Partners was being shut down. What was going on in Rahul’s mind?
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This episode was sponsored by Gaja Capital, one of India’s leading Private Equity funds. Rahul’s book, The Moonshot Game: Adventures of an Indian Venture Capitalist has been nominated for the prestigious Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2020.