India's maturing start-up ecosystem is now seeing a sea of change with current founders not afraid of expecting more from the venture capitalists. Leading early-stage investor Orios venture capital ran a survey - What #Misfits Want - having 1800 participants. It brought out interesting insights into what start-up founders expect out of investors during the fund raising and the post investment support.
"The survey told us that entrepreneurs today don't need 'gyaan' from investors. They need 'gyaan' from senior entrepreneurs because today we have senior entrepreneurs in the system," said Anup Jain, managing partner, Orios VP. Over the last decade, Indian start-up ecosystem has seen the rise of several unicorns such as Ola, Oyo and Paytm with largely first-time entrepreneurs. The ecosystem is rich with success stories." Not just first, today we see second or third time founders as well. We also see ex-employees of start-ups starting their own ventures. There are three categories of founders coming into the ecosystem, which wasn't the case before," points out Jain.
With a clear segmentation, the needs of founders coming from each of the three buckets have also necessitated VCs and investors to offer something beyond funding to founders. Jain says the expectations of founders of today's start-ups are different. They don't just look at funding but also seek support on three key areas. "They want support in the fund-raising process, especially founders starting off for the first time or ex-employees of start-ups. Serial entrepreneurs need help with hiring," he said. The other big talk is around scaling up effectively without running out of cash till the next round of funding while trying to get the product-market fit. Orios VP's Misfits Cohort 3, an India-specific scale-up programme for seed stage start-ups, has also seen Orios venture fund ramping up its central team. The select cohort start-ups (typically 8-10) will not only receive funding but also get help in hiring the right talent. "We are boosting our team at the central level with an associate level person in our investment team. 50 per cent of the time of the person will be dedicated to hiring the right profiles to help our companies grow," said Jain. As a fund, Orios says, the focus in the coming months will continue to be on the B2C companies, which solve large consumer problems in retail, fintech (lending space), media internet and gaming and social commerce.