Interview of Mohit Mittal- Investment Professional at India Quotient

Mohit Mittal is an investment professional at India Quotient. He has completed his chemical engineering (Btech + Mtech, 2017) from IIT Delhi. In college he had 2 startups and learned a lot.

According to him – “best learning is when you do by your own hands.”
His first venture is RunnerBee, then he joined Zear, worked with Shuttl and Ola and now in India Quotient. He says that “learning keeps on going back to the family. “
He loves to play Poker. For him “Poker is not just a game but a life science, and teaches that even if everything is right, it may not end up in your favor.”

What is your investing philosophy?
Invest seeing a positive side that will get back the good returns once the company grows big. The company should be scalable, have a big market, solving the pain point, sector agnostic, no linear business, strong believers of profitability.

What has been the most important investing lesson you have learned so far?
Never follow FOMO – fear of missing out, traction, etc. Many companies die so need to follow on the money put in. I also learned that it is a bad decision to invest if the product is ahead of time.

Which has been your best investment to date?
ShareChat and Lendingkart – ideas specific to India.

Can you share any investing mistakes that you made and the lessons we can learn from it?
Investing without complete data about the company. Learnt to be more careful, cautious, conscious with conviction.

Is there any particular investor or author who has had a significant influence on your investment thinking? 
Madhukar Sinha – Partner (VC)

What would be your advice to Entrepreneurs seeking funds?
Funds just does not flow in. If your company is doing well all investors will give funds.
Need to focus on the runway i.e. how to survive if no funds are there.
Also, focus more on product building as a wrong product will lead nowhere.

Do you invest in specific sectors? If yes, then which are the sectors?
Sector agnostic, personally like logistics, social network, fin-tech. Open to learn all the sectors and founders teaches the best.

What is your outlook for the present startup ecosystem in India?
Best time and great penetration. Some great VC are there in the ecosytem irrespective of the market.
Unlike 2014-2015, now people get funding based on the business idea/ model.

According to you what is more important (Team, Idea, Traction, etc.)?
Traction comes later and makes you believe the idea more. It is the first two that leads to the third one.
Early-stage- Team and idea.
Mature stage- Traction.

According to you what is the perfect time for a startup to raise funds?
Start raising funds when you are ready and when you need funds. Need to be proactive as initiation to closure takes 2-3 months.

What is the value add that a founder gets, along with your investment?
I contribute in network and mentoring required for funding in the next round.

Would you like to share any of your recent investments and why did you select them?
FirstU – subscription-based vehicle service
Strong team and Unique idea and real, product value was great.

Answer in one line:

Share your original quote: “Do best that is in your hands, rest let the luck play its part.”

First 3 slides that you look in a Pitch Deck (in serial order):
Problem, Solution, and Team (back missionary founders but not opportunists).

How would you define Startup:  great opportunity creators as nothing new can not come unless somebody takes it.

What are the attributes of an Entrepreneur: one who is visionary, think ahead of its time and gives priority to team.

What are your views about StartupLanes?
It is a great networking platform for startups and investors.