How to get startup funding in India? Experts suggest these steps
A startup goes through multiple rounds of funding during its growth phase and at the core of which lies a solid idea and how the idea will be executed.
Startup Funding in India: Success of a startup depends very much on funding. Without funding, no venture can grow to its full potential. A startup goes through multiple rounds of funding during its growth phase and at the core of which lies a solid idea and how the idea will be executed. If venture capitalists do not see potential in the idea and the promoters, it might be difficult to get fund.
In the beginning, it is important to understand that chances of getting funds are only as good as your idea, the team behind it, and the execution, said Sanjay Lakhotia, co-founder, Noble House Consulting Pte. Many startups have ideas but fail in the execution stage. Startups must focus on the core mission and the money will surely follow, Lakhotia said. When you have these parameters in place, investors are bound to show interest and may feel they are missing out if they do not put in money in the venture. Another important aspect is communication and how you convey your ideas to them. "Keep things straightforward, direct and address any possible fears head-on," he advised.
Saroja Yeramilli, founder, Melorra, said, "Finances are what dictate a startup’s success or failure – and this is where funding becomes an absolute imperative. A startup goes through multiple rounds of funding during its growth phase, at the core of which lies a solid idea and a plan on how this will be executed. It is important to understand that most investors will focus their attention on the core team and ideation."
Rekuram Varadharaj, co-founder and COO of Healthi said that the success of any venture is determined by three important factors: Access to capital, customers, and talent. Fundraising is ideally dependent on what stage the company is in. While a compelling idea may be sufficient in the beginning, as the company matures, meaningful traction and efficient execution also assume importance.
When a startup looks for funding, it is very important for the founders to have a solution to a worthy problem which impacts a large section of the population (customers) and comes with a great value proposition for them and at the same time able to generate value for investors and stakeholders, suggested Ruchir Arora, co-founder and CEO of CollegeDekho.
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One good thing is that today the startup ecosystem is much better, especially from the funding aspect than what it was 15 years ago. There are many accelerator programmes, Angel investors, Family offices and VC funds that are around to fund based on in what stage the company is.
Because of a relatively mature ecosystem, one challenge that founders today face is that there are too many startups around, and investors have many options to invest in. Therefore, as part of the fund-raising process, the founders must have a very solid business plan that answers to key questions such as - what problem are you solving that has already not solved, how you are different than other similar players, if any, what is the path to profitability, what are the entry barriers, etc, suggests Sanjay Kumar, co-founder of Gozo cabs.
Niraj Ranjan Rout, founder and CEO of Hiver, said it's important to make sure that the founders have an intimate understanding of the market they're looking to serve, even if they don't have a clear and definite plan about how they will build products to serve and capture the market.
Ruchir Arora, co-founder and CEO of CollegeDekho, suggested these steps to prepare for funding:
Stages of funding:
Make a Business Plan:The business plan has to explain to the investors - what your business is all about along with market information (audience, projected growth), financial metrics (budget, revenue) and a product launch date.
Make a Financial Plan: Calculate your expenses prior to seeking fund
Look for Investors: Venture capitalists, angel investors, commercial lenders or small business administration.
Network: LinkedIn, seed accelerators etc.
Be Prepared: Clarity of goals, knowing the investors, be ready to face questions
Keep pitch ready for:
Asking for investment
Follow up with Investors - for funding status