Interview of Amit Singal: Investor and Co-Founder of Startup Buddy
He started his career as a CA practice in the year 2006 after 2 years of employment at another Delhi based CA firm. During his practice, he has signed up some Startups Client in the year 2007 and realized that there are gaps in compliance at Startups. Also, the thinking process of the founders is entirely different from big corporations. To bridge the gap he started Startup Buddy in the year 2015.
Startup Buddy is one Stop Solution for startups for various support functions like Book-keeping, Payroll, Taxation, IPR and transaction advisers. Founders of Startup Buddy have made more than 25 startups to date and in the process to set up the Micro VC fund.
What is your investing philosophy?
I normally invest in the early stage and Team with the right skill set is extremely important. I also invest only in those startups where I feel that I can value add with my experience.
What has been the most important investing lesson you have learned so far?
Invest early with the right team. Make sure documentation is complete and there is clarity between co-founders regarding their roles and responsibilities.
Which has been your best investment to date?
There are many, starting from InnerChef, Advantage Club, Chqbook, PeeSafe, O4S which are doing wonders. 85% of my startups have raised subsequent rounds.
Can you share any investing mistakes that you made and the lessons we can learn from it?
There are many but this is part of the journey. The important aspect while investing is to think about changes expected in the future and fitment on an idea with various other factors.
Is there any particular investor or author who has had a significant influence on your investment thinking?
I keep talking to co-investors to understand the philosophy of their investments. But I learned lots of things from Mr. Sarbvir Singh, MD Capital18 and Rajesh Sawhney, founder of GSF.
What would be your advice to Entrepreneurs seeking funds?
Do proper research about the investors and try to understand the thesis of investors before approaching them. This will save lots of time and the probability of funding will increase.
Do you invest in specific sectors? If yes, then which are the sectors?
I am Sector Agnostic but I like B2B Tech more.
What is your outlook for the present startup ecosystem in India?
The Ecosystem is growing rapidly and there is support from the Government as well so a win-win situation for all.
According to you what is more important (Team, Idea, Traction, etc.)?
Definitely, Team is important for me. If the Team is good, they will fine-tune the idea and traction will automatically follow.
According to you what is the perfect time for a startup to raise funds?
There is no right answer to this. Whenever they feel that they need funds and sure about the idea of execution, they can approach the investors.
What is the value add that a founder gets, along with your investment?
Being a Chartered Accountant, I play with numbers and help startups to avoid mistakes related to pricing, cost, etc.
Would you like to share any of your recent investments and why did you select them?
Recently I have invested in Jaipur based MedDelivery which is solving the problem related to the supply chain for the chemists. I personally believe that there is a good scope to improve the supply chain through various solutions. Another investment is Mera Cashier which is simply helping small businesses to document the Income and Expenditure.
Answer in one line:
Share your original quote: We should treat Mentor as an Investor for Startup. The right advice from Mentor is valuable as compared to passive investment.
First 3 slides that you look in a Pitch Deck (in serial order): Problem, Solution and then Competition.
How would you define Startup: Startup is a business with limited resources but possible of scale is immense.
What are the attributes of an Entrepreneur: Should be able to take pressure in a difficult time.
What are your views about StartupLanes?
Startup Lanes is a very good platform for startups raising funds or looking for mentors. Such platforms are need of an hour.