“Decide Faster!” Paul Singh of 500 Startups to Indian Angel Investors

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Serial entrepreneur and investor Paul Singh spoke on the new trends in angel investing, on 29th of August at Bangalore. One of the partners at 500 Startups, an early stage investing company that is disrupting how angel deals are done, Paul mentors businesses in the areas of Analytics, Customer Acquisition, Customer Analytics, Engineering, Infrastructure, Operations, and SMBs expertise.

In this talk, Paul addressed the changing landscape of the startup environment and explained the various processes behind smart early-stage investments in startups.

“Investment is a process”

Through Paul’s experience in founding and mentoring startups, he shared with the audience a process for early stage funding, which is practiced at 500 Startups.

“Investing is a process, dabbling in investing is (at best) gambling. Pursue investing nearly full-time or find someone to manage your money, it is not a part-time job” says Paul, laying emphasis on a systematic approach to investment. Paul also made the audience aware of various tools, such as Angellist, Google Analytics, Alexa etc. and their potential in discovering deals.

Paul’s advice to investors, in his own words, was “decide faster”.

“Moneyball”

Moneyball, the investment process shared by Paul in the talk was a unique blend of conventional techniques of common sense and dash of unconventional notions to cope with the changing startup environment.

While advice along the lines of low investment experimentation and quantitative portfolio approach were conventional, one of the most against the grain advice, spelt explicitly in the talk, was discouraging investors from taking board seats. He believes that board seat provide little value addition.

500 Startups is looking to aggressively invest in India, and if all goes well, aims to close around 25 deals in the next year. Paul also advised Indian angels to make faster decisions, and move towards founder friendly term sheets.

We will have to wait and watch how the Indian angel investing community reacts to this. Check out Paul Singh’s presentation slides on MoneyBall + Startups here. It is worth the time.

Moneyball: A Quantitative Approach to Angel Investing (India - Aug 2012) from Paul Singh

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