Yesterday I read an interview with Kiran Nadkarni, former VC and presently founder/CEO of Kaati Zone on CitizenMatters.in. Kiran was one of the first VCs that I met when I came to India in 1995/6. At that time he had just begun working with Bill Draper’s organization after having run ICICI Ventures and was before he got involved with JumpStartUp, I believe. It was refreshing to hear his thoughts from the entrepreneur’s side of the table, particularly with reference to early stage funding, which as so many entrepreneurs and bloggers have noted is practically absent in India. Read the interview and check out CitizenMatters as well.
Talking of early stage funding I finally managed to get off my duff and to the NSRCEL (NS Raghavan Center for Entrepreneurial Learning) at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. My erstwhile partners in entrepreneurship, Baskar, KAS and Vidhya had just moved their new startup Amagi Technologies into the incubator at NSRCEL. Never one to pass up on a free meal, I dropped in on them during lunch time to catch up on what’s happening with their startup and their recent whirlwind tour of all the major VCs in India. I hope to have Baskar on here as a guest soon and will let him share his insights and learnings in his own voice.
The realization that dawned on me in the meeting with him, was the sheer number of bootstrapped startups that our friends and acquaintances have launched. These include:
Amagi Technologies – local ad syndication for digital TV;
Baskar, KAS, Vidhya; bootstrapped – looking to raise a round
diMobili – [in stealth mode]
Ganesh, Rajesh, Michael; bootstrapped – looking for angel funding
HealthcareMagic – consumer medical portal bringing doctors & consumers together
Kunal Shah; bootstrapped looking to raise a round
loconomy – finding, using & rating of local (neighborhood) services
Sanjay, Gaurav, Pallavi; bootstrapped
RightFields – business automation & ERP solutions around Microsoft AX
Raghu; bootstrapped, has revenue and looking to raise capital
Most of these are first time entrepreneurs and a couple including Amagi and HealthcareMagic are going around the entrepreneurial whirl for the second time – all of them have been India based, as elsewhere people wondered if it is foreign returned Indians who are doing a whole lot of bootstrapped startups. Only diMobili is still in stealth mode, with others having at least a website if not actually operational or a couple actually making revenue. I hope to get the founders of these startups visit us in this blog, sharing their thoughts and journey in the near future.