Orios Venture Partners' Rehan Yar Khan Banks on Ideas
This VC sees tremendous opportunity in India in building an iconic fund house that backs entrepreneurs through job and wealth creation.
Having started as an entrepreneur in 1992, Rehan Yar Khan, Founder and Managing Director, Orios Venture Partners, became an angel investor by chance when he came across another entrepreneur through a forum who was in need of funds. At that time he was also looking to invest his money. He invested in a software company Druva in 2008 at a time when people were skeptical if an Indian software company product would make it big. Druva developed a next generation software, and did well.
Khan then helped setting up the Mumbai chapter of Indian angel investors network. He has been on the board of the main association for many years. As the consequence of the angel club and outside it, he ended up making a whole lot of investments. “I invested in a lot of companies and later sold them to other companies and that is how I have built my portfolio,” he says. He was the first investor in Ola.
When asked about how he ended up building a fund from being an angel investor, he said that angel investing has always been his hobby but there was some gap in the market between the initial stage funding and the investors who used to come after much later stage of funding. “I saw an opportunity to fill the gap and provide funds at the seed level I established the fund,” he says.
“Secondly, I thought that the ecosystem needed a fund which has been an entrepreneur previously. We thought we could add value to the early stage funding and that motivated us in setting up a fund,” he adds.
Khan not only has a goal to help businesses grow but also to help ideas which do other meaningful work as well. “I want to work for an idea which can bring about a change in the employment situation of India and some policies which I find totally absurd,” he mentions about his goal.
Khan believes there is a conflict between the government and the start-up system. On one hand the government is supporting start-ups but on other, they are uncomfortable with the change start-ups are bringing. “Government needs to understand the number of jobs created by start-ups and the amount of wealth which is used for further investment and development of the economy,” he says.
Market thesis, which has logic like ground transportation, disruptive nature like that of Druva and providing convenience to the people like Pharmeasy, have worked very well for Orios rather than thesis based on top-end market products.
(This article was first published in the November 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)