Devendra Agrawal is an engineer from IIT Bombay who soon after graduating in 2005 made a shift to finance. Starting his journey in this space as an equity analyst at Clear Capital, Devendra went on to join Olympus Capital where he evaluated investment opportunities across a broad range of sectors. From assisting a $55 million investment in clean energy sector to helping close a $300 million investment in a leading business group of India, Devendra found his groove in the private equity space.
From Olympus, he took on the role of Chief Finance Officer at Resonance Eduventures to get some operational experience. An IIT JEE preparation firm, Resonance went on to raise $22 million in September 2011 and Devendra played a key role in this. Having built a strong network in the field of investments, Devendra decided to startup Dexter Capital. “I have always been interested in startups and entrepreneurship. With some crucial experience, I am now donning the hat of an entrepreneur with Dexter Capital, a boutique investment bank,” says Devendra.
Dexter Capital offers services to growth stage and early stage companies. Clarifying on how they demarcate, Devendra says, “Categorizing a startup depends a lot on the sector it is in. For instance, with big data, a company making INR 20 crore revenues would be a startup while in manufacturing it would be a growth stage company.” Dexter primarily helps these companies get funding for the next phase of growth. Dexter works on a nominal retainer plus a success fee. And it works with companies looking to raise a round of more than INR 5 crores.
Dexter itself has a filter for working with a company and has a few criteria like a team with a track record (founders from pedigree universities or previous startup experience or having raised capital before), a minimum traction, and revenue figures above a certain bar. “We have this filter primarily because from our experience we’re able to figure the chances of a company being able to raise funds,” says Devendra. Dexter is working with six early-stage companies and three in the growth stages.
The value add for a company like Dexter comes in when an entrepreneur is looking for an opening to the lesser known venture capital and private equity funds. “The Sequoias and Accels of the world are in the news regularly but there are more than 300 funds/investors investing across the spectrum,” says Devendra. This is the piece that Dexter fills — connecting entrepreneurs to the right investors and helping them in structuring a pitch that increases their chances of raising a funding round. The other value additions are speedy execution, right advice on terms, hand holding through due diligence and documentation process.
Dexter Capital has a 6 member team working across 3 offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Jaipur and they soon plan to open an office in Bangalore and hire more people. Read more about Dexter.