Meet the 'Founders For Founders'
Rajesh Sawhney, founder and CEO, GSF Accelerator has invested in 100-plus startups
Angel investors— angels in disguise for the startup ecosystem. They invest, support, mentor, repeat!
One such angel investor is Rajesh Sawhney, founder and CEO, GSF Accelerator. “I have done 100-plus investments in startups since 2010 and in 2021 alone, I have done 40 investments,” says the CEO.
Giving an insight into the investment thesis, he says, “We write the first cheque in the company.We call ourselves founders for founders-the funding and mentoring platform.”
Throwing some light on how he helped startups grow, he says,”Whatfix is widely regarded as an iconic category creator in digital adoption. It’s now on its way to IPO in a couple of years. It was incubated by us in 2013-14 and one of our venture partners even joined them as founder to help them grow in international markets. Similarly, Quizizz is a fast growing global edtech company which we incubated. They pivoted from a content-based company to a platform approach and grew exponentially thereafter.”
“Slintel is a fast growing SaaS company. We incubated it in 2017-18 and helped them to build a sales engine for the US market. It was acquired by 6sense in October. Top 10 companies from our portfolio have created a market capitalisation of over $2 billion now.”
Looking at the promising startups, he shares his investment outlook, “It looks extremely bullish especially on the trillion dollar Indian SaaS opportunity. We have a vibrant portfolio of SaaS companies at different stages: Whatfix at Series D, Slintel at Series C, HackerEarth at Series B, Zenduty at Series A and we incubated Upscale in 2021. Besides, we are equally excited about Indian focused fintech, social commerce, edtech and healthtech startups.”
Sawhney is a serial entrepreneur and business builder who has set-up multiple successful businesses over the last two decades. He is the founder of GSF. It provides tech startups mentorship from celebrated digital founders, initial capital and global exposure. He also co-founded InnerChef.
He has made over 100 investments as one of the leading angel investors in India, which include Viki acquired by Rakutan, Little Eye Labs acquired by Facebook, IMGN acquired by Warner Music, Pokkt acquired by Anymind Grouo, Dailyrounds acquired by 3M Group, Weareholidays acquired by Cox & Kings, Instalively acquired by Hike Messenger and Nightstay acquired by Paytm.
His current portfolio consists of big hits like Whatfix, Quizizz, Slintel, FlintoClass, Citymall, Breathe well-being, Gamezop, Orowealth, Khabri, Newsbytes, Zenduty, Vaultedge, Bimaplan, Codingal, Salarybox.
Portfolio size: 100 companies
Average ticket size/sweet spot : $100-300,000 per company
Total no. of exits:10