With first seed investment already made in Mericar.com, MyFirstCheque is the new Seed Investor on the block. Gautam Sinha, Partner MyFirstCheque shared with us his plans for the year and what all we can expect from them. YourStory is happy to share the excerpts of the conversation as we are always excited to know that there is one more investment opportunity for early stage startups and now they have a brand new option to have their “First Investor”.
Please tell us about MyFirstCheque?
Gautam: MyFirstCheque has 3 partners. We are entrepreneurs, who have gone through the pain of raising money, running a venture and then successfully exiting it. We know what it takes to start and run a venture. With our background and learnings we realized it’s time to give back to the eco-system and support startups. What we realize, is that most ideas do not need a lot of money to scale up initially but someone who believes in it and can give the first cheque of support. It can be as much as 5 lakhs. So with this intent, we have launched the fund MyFirstCheque, which will invest in early stage ventures from Rs.5 lakhs to Rs.25lakhs.
Did you raise the fund or is it your own money?
Gautam: It is our own money which we have put together with a strong belief that supporting early stage ventures through seed capital infusion is the best /meaningful way to utilize our assets. We have started this seed fund because we remain passionate about entrepreneurship and want to do our own bit in supporting this eco-system. Yes, we are looking at a for profit model for sure but that is not the main driver. I am involved in this full time now.
Your first investment has been in Mericar.com, what led to the decision?
Gautam: Rakesh, the entrepreneur behind Mericar wrote to us via email and I met him at one of my visits to Delhi. Besides some strong fundamentals within the company, what led to the investment decision was the entrepreneur himself. Rakesh is a street entrepreneur. He will never take No for an answer or give you a No for an answer. He will find one way or the other to make things work. He is a hands on guy and that I believe is key to the success of any entrepreneurial venture. More than the idea we believe in the entrepreneur who will drive and grow the idea.
You launched MyFirstCheque in December 2010 and have already made one investment. What is the plan for this year?
Gautam: We will positively make 8 more investments this year and it can be upto 10. On an average we are getting 50 plus investible plans a month and we will not sit over decisions but work actively to close deals.
Please tell us some of the trends which you see in the early stage ventures/ideas?
Gautam: Something interesting that I have observed in the last few months is that we are getting a lot of technology and other business plans from Delhi NCR. Contrary to the popular perception of Bangalore etc being the driver of tech startups, Delhi NCR will be a region to watch out for.
Also Delhi remains the city of entrepreneurs from the partition days so in a way it’s little wonder that the next wave of promising entrepreneurs will emerge from here. Eco system in Delhi is also embracing this new trend.
With more successful entrepreneurs emerging and successful exits happening, we will see a new set of seed investors coming in the fold.
Startups who are looking at seed capital can write to Gautam as he has assured us that he is very accessible on email. Now that’s what we like about entrepreneurial Angel Investors.