The Confidante

Aakrit Vaish, CEO Haptik, has done 61-plus investments so far

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A little more than an angel investor, Aakrit Vaish co-founder and CEO Haptik, is also a close confidante of the startup ecosystem. He has helped a lot of startups grow, but chooses not  to throw any light on the journey .“The stories are all confidential,” said Vaish.

Haptik

“I started angel investing in 2012 when a friend told me about his cool startup idea. Then over the next five to six years I made a handful of investments. However, the real activity picked up in the last two years, post the acquisition of Haptik by Reliance. It gave me liquidity,” said Vaish, adding that he has done some 61-plus investments.

Talking about his investment thesis, he said, “I don't have a specific sector focus as long as it is Internet- or software-enabled. I ask five things when looking at any startup investment opportunity: a) How large is the market size? (b) Has the founder experienced the problem himself and deeply cares about solving it?  (c) What are the current alternatives to solving the problem and why is this solution better? (d) Why has anyone else not done it before or is doing it now? (e) Has the founder demonstrated some hustle in getting the product / business to this stage?”

With the startup ecosystem booming, the investor has his plans ready. “In my short career in technology, I have never seen this type of momentum in startup fundraising. I expect this to continue for another 12 months. I will continue making deals at the current pace of 20-30 per year. The sectors and types of companies will likely remain the same, with perhaps more investments in Web3/crypto in general,” said the CEO giving insight into his investment outlook.

With Haptik, Vaish pioneered the wave of conversational AI, back in 2013. The platform  amplifies engagement, increases conversions and delivers delightful support to customers. In April 2019, Reliance Industries acquired majority shareholding of the company in a $100 million transaction, making Haptik one of the highest valued AI companies globally.