The Far-Sighted Investor
According to Vanga, it is important for every investor to ensure the continuity of their portfolio, which would indicate more bridge rounds in the next 12-24 months
The investors have no doubt over the fact that investments and fundraising, especially pre-Series A rounds are going to get tougher and rarer in the next 12 to 24 months as they believe fund managers will prioritize protecting portfolios.
"The days of spray and pray may be behind us. That being said, more careful evaluations and a recalibration of valuations is definitely something the ecosystem would witness. In a bull market such as the one we witnessed in the recent past, startup valuations were very high because they were pegged to the public market which was at an all-time high. With the recent global correction of the public market, private market valuations too shall connect," said Prasad Vanga, founder and CEO, Anthill Ventures.
Vanga believes that from a portfolio standpoint, a crisis would gear investors towards focusing more on companies that have unique technological solutions coupled with higher barriers of entry in the market as opposed to companies that can be easily competed against.
"We will look at investing in areas which hold significant value to be unlocked. For example, web 3.0 tech is going to expand its use cases and land itself in multiple industries," added Vanga.
There are certain types of business models that require a bit of scaling for capturing market share which inevitably leads to a cash burn. Vanga added that Anthill is coming up with innovative models of investment syndication which allow strategic investors to invest in newer businesses and minimize cash burn. Anthill has devised a creative model which enables well-known celebrities to partner with our portfolio companies which significantly reduces customer acquisition costs.
Vanga affirmed that Anthill is conserving cash to identify the best companies in its portfolio, which are achieving their milestones, startups having strong unit economics. He specified that Anthill would like to deploy capital to companies that deserve to scale up. From the funding perspective, the VC fund has always been bullish on the sectors it has targeted, like media tech, health tech and urban lifestyle. In the coming time, there is going to be a huge change in consumption patterns and scale potential and Anthill will be reallocating its funds there. Unit economics have always been focused on regardless of cycle as unit economics are a key indicator of the health, repeatability, and scalability of a business. Positive Unit Economics indicates a path to overall profitability at scale.
According to Vanga, it is important for every investor to ensure the continuity of their portfolio, which would indicate more bridge rounds in the next 12-24 months. Capital, however, will continue to chase high-quality scalable businesses and disruptive innovations which means high-quality teams can still garner significant investor interest.
"We want our startups to be profitable, however, some burn is required to capture market share. In the previous bull market where growth capital was cheap and relatively easier to attract, the emphasis was on capturing market share as a priority. With liquidity drying up, founders may not have a clear line of sight into their next round of capital and hence sustainability now is a need of the hour," advised Vanga.
Anthill is excited about investing and partnering with entrepreneurs and unlocking value in mediatech, urbantech and healthtech. Given the growth the sector promises, the VC fund would be keen to explore the built environment segment by launching a new scaling program for early startups through a partnership with GruhasProptech and DLF Family Office called Gruhas Aspire.