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Last Updated : May 11, 2016 10:35 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Startup logic to be guided by real metric, not vanity numbers

Customer satisfaction and product addiction will do more to sell a growth story than simple monetary growth statistics, or the money raised in the last round of funding, says serial entrepreneur and angel investor Meena Ganesh.

The Indian start-up scene is definitely attracting investment from across the globe. But there are still a few sectors that are giving investors pause. In today's edition of the young turks deal tracker, CNBC-TV18's Adith Charlie and Areeb Sherwani tell you where the money's going, and where it's not.

It's been yet another busy day on deal street and ticket sizes range anywhere from USD 100,000 to USD 100 million. Of course, it's not just fresh funding we're talking here. It's also the spate of consolidaton that's sweeping across the Indian startup space. A spate that's blurring the thin line between success and failure, and rewriting traditional metrics of valuing a venture.

So vanity as a metric will soon be out of the picture, if experts are to be believed. Serial entrepreneur and angel investor Meena Ganesh says the ongoing funding winter will push startups to focus on real metrics. Meaning, customer satisfaction and product addiction will do more to sell a growth story than simple monetary growth statistics, or the money raised in the last round of funding.


Ganesh's growth story has backed a dozen startups from older players like Bigbasket, Bluestone, Portea and Freshmenu. She says vanity metrics have not been a pull factor where the investor is concerned.

This also explains why Flipkart and Snapdeal took a hit to their valuations recently. But some companies are not feeling the heat just yet. Data analytics venture Fractal Analytics, for instance, has raised up to USD 100 million from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad.

It will use this money to, in its words, "dramatically accelerate" its programmatic investments and acquire more companies. This round of funding comes three years after it raised USD 25 million from private equity investor TA Associate.

Website optimiser Zarget is also doing well when it comes to funding. Venture capital firms Accel & Matrix have led a USD 1.5 million round, which also saw Freshdesk CEO Girish Mathrubootham turn investor.

Zarget, which is positioning itself as a services company, will use this money for R&D on new products.

However, the going's not been so great for tech startups in the food industry. A new report by craft-driven research says that the number of investments in this space will slow down by 18.52 percent this year. Remember, there are about 150-200 food tech ventures in india, including aggregators, food-ordering platforms, delivery-only players, proprietary meal sellers and cloud kitchens.

This space has also seen several ventures shut down in the last 12-18 months due to wafer-thin margins, high cash burn and the inability to hit a sustainable business model.

Another space that's seeing a bit of a shake-up is the on-demand chauffeur services space. Chennai-based Driverskart has acquired smaller rival -- Driven -- to strengthen its network. This comes just weeks after Driverskart bagged 450,000 dollars in pre-series-a funding led by Ah! Ventures.

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First Published on May 11, 2016 10:28 pm
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