#Asia Foreign early-stage funds in India lack execution capabilities: Venture Catalysts Apoorv Ranjan Sharma


Many foreign VCs lack India connect and that’s why they are unable to solve good investment deals in India, he says


International foreign funds operating in India lack confidence in execution capabilities and that is why they are unable to make good deals in India, according to Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, a serial investor and Co-founder of Venture Catalysts, a seed investment network.

In a phone interview with e27, Sharma also said foreign funds need to build strong India connect to be successful in the country.

Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma

Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma

“The problem with international early-stage investment funds is that they lack confidence in execution capabilities. There are many who are making lots of early-stage investments, but most of them are yet to solve even a single good deal so far.”

“To raise funds for the Indian soil, you need have a very strong India connect. For early-stage investments, one needs have a heart of India and lots of hard work is required.”

Also Read: Venture Catalysts invests in P2P lending platform LenDenClub

Referring to a leading early-stage fund headquartered in Silicon Valley, Sharma said that it is a complete failure in India and that it is unable to solve even a single good deal in the last 4-5 years.

“They are complete failures in India and they have not been able to solve even a single good deal in the last 4-5 years of their existence. When I was with VentureNursery, I came out with OYO Rooms (a budget hotel booking platform). How many did they come out with? This is all execution problem, and is not something to do with the India market,” he explained.

Sharma is also of the view that the Indian startup ecosystem is weak and it requires Industry participation. Although there is good potential and many good quality products, people are less supportive. They try to create multiple other options (to invest their money). But the trends are changing and big real estate investors have now started making investments in Indian startups, he noted.Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 13.24.11

To a question about Series A crunch in India, he said Series A crunch is an unnecessarily hyped up problem. “Series A sometimes go up and sometimes go down. It is also the preparedness of the people and availability of Series A funds. How many series A funds are there in India? And compare them with that of the US and China. It is unjustified to say that the startups are not getting Series A. Once you have enough number of funds, it will not be a problem.”

Sharma, who has successfully invested in many companies — including InvenZone, TalView ApnaCircle.com, Circuit Sutra, Jigsee, Birdseye, and confirmTKT — said India still lack original ideas and most of the products existing in the market are copy-cats.

To boost the startup growth, the government needs to come up with strong policies like in the US and China. “Government policies in the US and China have been really encouraging. If you see the subsidies given to the incubators in the US or the grants given to the startups in the US and China and even in Japan, it is very encouraging.”

A doyen in the field of early-stage investment and startup incubation, Sharma head Venture Catalysts, a seed funding network-cum-co-working space. Armed with a PhD in Incubation with MBA and B Tech degrees, Sharma has led and mentored more than 50 early-stage investments. Sharma has also been involved in early-stage investment since 2002 and has established almost 10 Incubators and accelerators including IAN Incubator, VentureNursery, and Amity Innovation Incubator,.

Venture Catalysts recently launched a ‘VC Roadshow’, an initiative to assist seed-funded startups to secure pre-Series A funding. The two-day event will be held in Mumbai from May 18 to 19.

The post Foreign early-stage funds in India lack execution capabilities: Venture Catalysts’ Apoorv Ranjan Sharma appeared first on e27.

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