When investment bankers Uday Disley and Deepak Srinath go calling on CEOs of small businesses, the latter don’t usually get overwhelmed. For two reasons: One, Disley and Srinath themselves run a small I-bank that was launched a year ago and, two, they’ve been entrepreneurs earlier as well and know the pains small businesses go through. But that’s only part of the reason why the co-founders of Viedea Capital Advisors have received a round of angel funding from the Indian Angel Network. The bigger reason is that Viedea (combination of vie and idea) is focussed on an emerging segment, which is SMEs and mid-market companies. “We saw that companies here were underserved by existing investment banks, while venture capitalists are hard-pressed for time. We handhold many such start-ups, prepare business plans and present them to VCs,” says Srinath. “And the fact that some of the most successful entrepreneurs and CEOs in India have invested in us, validates our assessment of the opportunity.”
The Viedea team has operating experience in areas such as mobile VAS, retail, IT/ITES and life sciences. Says Disley: “Our strong differentiator is the operating experience of our team. This is an integral part of our strategy and allows us to offer insights that traditional bankers may not be able to.” Viedea has already advised on high-profile transactions such as the recent acquisition of the publicly-listed engineering services company Axis IT&T by Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s Tayaana Software. “We loved the passion and commitment of the team and recognised the huge potential to create a truly world class boutique investment bank. They’ve made a great start,” says Rajan Anandan, Vice President, Dell India, who is one of the nine angel investors. “The mid-market companies seeking to raise $1 million to $10 million are looking for organised players and Viedea fits in this play,” he adds.
— K.R. Balasubramanyam