This Investor Has a Unique Approach of Selecting Start-ups for Funding
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Prepping up his portfolio start-ups for perfect take off through seed money, Sashi Reddi, Managing Partner, Sri Capital, is all calm, poised and confident about betting on these dark horses. The start-ups he has invested in focuses on tech-enabled services including enterprise software, and deep technology such as data analytics, augmented reality etc., preferably which are subscription-based. A serial entrepreneur, Reddi founded and exited four companies including the biggest one - AppLabs before turning venture capitalist. Reddy picks his top three emerging bets.
High Point – FIRST MOVE ADVANTAGE
NumberMall is an app that brings multiple vendors under one unified platform, where merchant can manage online orders by maintaining a universal balance. It is a digital repository that saves them the trouble of stocking up goods and making advance payments, thus improving return on investment.
Launched in 2012 by Kiran Gal from personal savings of INR 10 lakhs, NumberMall has achieved a gross merchandise value of over INR 800 crore post $2 million raised by Sri Capital in July 2014. More than 21,000 kirana shops and small owners actively buy their supplies through its mobile application. “The plan is to grow to 100,000 kirana stores; and further expand our brand offering. The portal has the potential to generate INR 3,000 crore revenue in three years,” says Reddi.
S H E P H E R T Z
High Point – BUILDING VIRTUAL PLATFORM
ShepHertz is led by Siddhartha Chandurkar who has multiple investors on board. This multiplicity was a blessing, as well as a challenge - multiple investors brought on board multiple valuations but it also hiked up the customer expectations.
The start-up raised $1.5 million in 2014 from a clutch of investors, including Sri Capital. ShepHertz is an omni-channel digitization platform that converges data to improve user acquisition, retention, engagement and conversion. Microsoft has selected it as one of the two Indian start-ups that they expect to launch globally using their sales channel. Also IBM and Alibaba are its other important channel partners. Reddi predicts that the company will enter the US markets post a Series A funding.
W O R K A P P S
High Point – ASSET LIGHT MODEL
WorkApps - productivity unification app is the smallest bet on Reddi’s investment table. Sri Capital invested INR3.5 Crore in June 2016. What attracted Reddi towards WorkApps is not ingenuity of the idea, but its capability of being scalable.
For the second stage WorkApps is currently being piloted on companies with over 10,000 employees. If it did well at that scale, it will might give a fight to its bigger competitor Slack meant for smaller groups, and catering to customers with larger employee strength. “Unlike Slack, WorkApps has been successfully deployed with multiple customers, who have over 10,000 employees. The ideal growth plan would be raising Series A before entering the US market,” explains Reddi.
(This article was first published in the September 2017 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)