"Investors Only Fund Great Teams And Great Products"
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Smartphones have become a carrier of technology. With more people using internet on the phone and looking at the growth of smartphones in India, it will be correct to say that mobile has changed human life and is progressively making it more convenient.
It is this reason that firms experience a rise in their consumer base when an app version of the website is launched. In India, where we lately see an investment drought, people apps like Hike have been able to rope in some of the big names in the startup industry as investors. These include Quora founder and CEO Adam D’Angelo, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, and Ruchi Sanghvi, board member at Paytm.
What started as a messaging app has now become an integrated service provider. Founded by Kavin Mittal in 2012, Hike is India’s answer to WhatsApp. Talking about his product and current funding scenario, this is what he had to say:
What’s your mantra for app platforms like Hike to get funding?
Build a great product. That’s it. Nothing else. Investors only fund great teams and great products.
Any challenges you faced while acquiring funds and how you overcame them?
The challenge we faced was to show the growth that people expect, because in the internet space people expect a J Curve all the time. It becomes hard early on when the product itself is not good. We faced this problem, and moving on we had to grow very fast because of the funding requirements, but the product was not ready.
It’s important to get the product right, get the product-market fit, show the organic growth and then pitch to investors and say, ‘Hey, guys! We have this problem we’re solving; the product’s looking extremely well’ and the best part is that in that zone you can risk capital at your own terms.
With the whole bots invasion coming in India, what do you see the prospect of Indian mobile app market?
I have been clear from Day 1 that the app model is broken. I really believe that we’re sitting on lands of new interaction model that changes the way people interact with current service. We already do that with services like news and cricket scores. It’s really cool!
And that’s how the world should work. As simple as that.
Kavin was one of the key speakers at the Tech in Asia conference in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
(With inputs from Sneha Banerjee)