"It's An Opportune Time For Indian VCs" Entrepreneur asked Gabe Turner, Executive Director at Draper, as to what brought about this strategic alliance in India, which is seemingly recovering from a funding slowdown.

By Sneha Banerjee

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Entrepreneur India

Earlier this year, one of India's most active VC fund, Blume Ventures, decided to form a strategic alliance called Draper Venture Network (DVN), an independent venture capital firm to connect leading entrepreneurs with investors around the world. The alliance will give Blume Ventures' portfolio, which includes start-ups such as Runnr, Locus and Exotel, access to a global network of corporate and ecosystem relationships.

Entrepreneur asked Gabe Turner, Executive Director at Draper, as to what brought about this strategic alliance in India, which is seemingly recovering from a funding slowdown. "It's actually an opportune moment for Indian VCs; through the recent market correction, much like US/Silicon Valley, valuations are coming down, while activity/deal flow is just as high. Blume just closed its second fund and it's a great time to have dry powder. De-monetization has created a massive fin-tech opportunity, while the government-initiated "Start-up India' program is encouraging founders to innovate in the areas of robotics, hardware, clean energy, and more," Turner said.

Turner, the "Captain at Draper Network', navigates the alliance through the ever-changing seas of venture capital. He has a background in strategy consulting and entrepreneurship. An undergraduate at UC Berkeley and a graduate student at Harvard Business School, Turner originally hails from Montevideo, Uruguay.

Drawing Comparisons

When asked to draw comparisons between the funding process in India and the Silicon Valley, Turner said that the funding process is somewhat similar in both the regions; however the competition is more intensive in the Valley, both amongst start-ups with similar concepts and amongst VCs vying for the same great opportunities.

"So in the Valley, this often results in higher valuations and founder-friendly terms, but start-ups there face high performance expectations from their investors; if they don't meet aggressive milestones, then they can have trouble raising a future round. In India, there is certainly competition, but it's fewer funds chasing fewer (good) deals," he said.

Massive opportunities underway in India

Turner said that the Indian consumer opportunity continues to be massive, with mobile usage, the middle class and the "Bharat' brand (i.e. outside the major urban areas) growing at a rapid pace. "India tech is well poised to be a leader in this space, and Blume is already backing its next batch of stars that are solving India-specific, large-market problems," he said.

What Indian Entrepreneurs could learn

From Turner's perspective of the Indian start-up ecosystem, here's what he believes what local entrepreneurs could include in their business model – Understand the 'willingness to pay' the customer; realize if they are value or benefit driven and price accordingly. A better grasp of customer acquisition costs and projected burn rates; bigger vision for the long-term; can help the company expand the customer pie within India or to similar regions globally?

Draper is looking for local funds in India to join the DVN Beta program, which includes seed-stage and micro VC funds from the US and across.

(This article was first published in the April issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

Sneha Banerjee

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

She used to write for Entrepreneur India from Bangalore and other cities in South India. 

Related Topics

Leadership

International Security Firm Welcomes Female India Native to an Essential Leadership Position

Yasmin Brar has been appointed as the Operations Strategy Director, a role that underscores the company's commitment to innovation, expansion, and strategic management

Data & Recovery

Get 2TB of Cloud Storage with PhotoSphere for Just $280 for a Limited Time

Easily store and access photos, videos, and other files spread across your work devices.

Growing a Business

How to Bridge the Gap Between Aspirations and Reality in Business

Bringing a vision to life requires a good dose of self-honesty and a multi-year plan for incremental progress.

Franchise

How to Work Less But Bring in More Money — The Value of Blitzscaling Your Business

Contrary to what many might believe, opening multiple units of a franchise business does not result in exponentially more work. By compounding and blitzscaling, franchise owners actually work less as they open more locations.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Science & Technology

These Are the Top 6 AI Threats to Your Business Right Now

The modern workforce is forever changed by artificial intelligence. If you fail to understand that we will all need to learn AI to some degree, you haven't been paying attention.