'Decision Making at Early Stages About the First Few Customers is Crucial': Brij Bhasin The venture capital investor has recently invested in Aibono, an agri-tech company helping farmers increase their yields using technology.
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Before starting to invest, Brij Bhasin, General Partner and India head, Rebright Partners, founded a retail analytics firm which did not grow up to his expectations. Later he joined GSF Accelerator as a founding member in Bengaluru. His team invested in over 30 companies during his stint of more than three years. In the last couple of years, he has been with Rebright, which is a Japanese venture capital fund, advising them on their investments in India.
Rebright Partners offers seed to early stage investments in internet and mobile software sectors. It operates in Southeast Asia and India.
When Bhasin got introduced to the founder of GSF, he liked the idea of working with early stage entrepreneurs. To become successful, he believes that it is extremely crucial to know how to build your initial team and to find the product markets. "The decision making at the early stages about the first few customers is very important as it defines what company you end up building. If you make the right decisions, it will exponentially increase the chances of your success," Bhasin shares.
Talking about his latest investment in an agri-tech company, Aibono, a seed to plate platform, he says that it is a very interesting concept since our country needs a proper supply chain as most of the farmers get less than what they should and consumers are also not getting good quality products. The agri-tech company helps farmers increase their yields using technology. On the other hand, they aggregate some retailers in the city and sell farm products to them directly, creating a whole new supply-chain platform.
"We consider ourselves more as a gateway fund. All our investors are Japanese corporates or family offices that are looking to invest in emerging markets like India. We have a certain amount of strategic focus in terms of what specific sector or industries or models they would like to invest in. Some of the sectors we are focused on are mobility like auto sector, logistics, etc; healthcare sector, especially digital healthcare. We have a very strong focus now on deep tech, companies that are building technology with strong intellectual properties which differentiates them from other products from the market and are globally competitive. We have also done some investments in digital media consumer tech companies in the past. We keep up to a million for each company. We do follow on investments in the later rounds and also comfortable with co-investments," he says.
(This article was first published in the November 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)