Vishal Gondal is no stranger to the startup game. One of India's first gaming entrepreneurs, he founded IndiaGames in 1999 which he sold off to The Walt Disney Company in 2011. Today he is also an active angel investor. In 2013, he founded GOQii Inc, a fitness technology venture that offers a combination of wearable technology and personalised coaching with an element of social philanthropy. Riding high on a fresh capital injection of $13.4 million, GOQii has now chalked out ambitious plans for the next 24 months. Gondal also wants to take GOQii to the US and China.
The current slowdown in funding will lead to a cleanup in the startup ecosystem, says Gondal. Startups that focus too much on marketing without creating a differentiated product will find it difficult to raise money. In this interview with Techcircle.in, Gondal talks about cash burning startups and the resultant squeeze in funding, how GOQii plans to avoid these pitfalls and its plans for the future.
Of late, there seems to be a funding squeeze. As an entrepreneur as well as an investor, what do you make of these trends?
I predict that there will be a massive cleanup in the startup ecosystem. Companies that focus too much on marketing without giving the core product enough attention will falter. Chasing growth is important but startups need to understand that unit economics is equally important. Investors like to see various data points. They want to see a functional, repeatable and scalable business model. Startups need to prove their business models to get to the Series A or Series B rounds. Nobody will fund startups at that stage if it is still an unproven idea.