Early stage dealmaking and exits in India’s startup market haven't slowed down in the last six years, investors from leading venture capital firms as SAIF Partners, Samvad Partners and Stellaris Venture partners said at a panel discussion at TechCircle LIVE 2019, TechCircle’s flagship conference for the startup ecosystem in Bengaluru last week.
The panel, Let’s Talk About Exits, included Alok Goel, managing director at SAIF Partners, Arpit Maheshwari, vice president at Stellaris Venture Partners, and Harish Narasappa, partner at Samvad Partners. The session was moderated by Jaideep Mehta, Mosaic Media Ventures, the company that owns TechCircle.
Alok Goel: When we were exiting Freecharge in 2005, it (the market) looked shaky. But things are back on track. Founders are solving deeper problems and I'm quite excited about the ecosystem for the next 4-5 years.
Harish Narasappa: Exits are far more frequent than they were 5-6 years ago. Not too many secondaries were happening but we see a lot more activity on other fronts. Funds are bringing together companies, sometimes resulting in M&As. I don't think the entrepreneur is thinking about exits.
Arpit Maheshwari: I echo what Alok said. I am bullish on the Indian startup ecosystem. We now have specialised investment for each stage. Today, you don't need to worry about payments and logistics in India. Marketing is easier because more and more people are coming online. When it comes to early stage investors, the most important thing we look at is how closely you understand the product. It takes time for an investor to understand the product (being pitched).
Watch the video for an extended version of the panel discussion.