Startup founders need investors the most post-funding, says angel investor and IPV co-founder Mitesh Shah
Mitesh Shah, Co-founder, Inflection Point Ventures (IPV), says his learnings and experience from his job as the Chief Financial Officer at Ola, and the Head of Finance at BookMyShow, helped him become an angel investor.
Mitesh — who joined Ola in 2013 — says the Indian ride-hailing giant was then a small-sized company with a presence in only three cities, providing only two categories of cabs.
During his time there, Ola grew across 11 different categories beyond mobility and forayed into finance, fleet technology, and foodtech, among others.
In this episode of the 100X Entrepreneur podcast, Mitesh talks about his experience at Ola and BookMyShow, which led him on his journey to becoming an investor and launch Inflection Point Ventures.
“The way Ola changed, I got a fair bit of insight into the startup and digital world. I think founders need something more than capital. I thought there can be a lot more that I can contribute to the growth of these startups and founders. That’s how my journey as an angel investor started,” he says.
Mitesh Shah, Co-founder, Inflection Point Ventures. [Image Credit: 100X Entrepreneur podcast]
He adds, “When we started Inflection Point Ventures, the idea was that while there is capital available in the market, there is a dearth of smart capital. By smart capital I mean, the founders need early-stage investors to be on their side of the table rather than the opposite side.”
This young breed of founders needs support more than plain simple mentoring, he emphasises.
After leaving Ola, Mitesh joined BookMyShow as the Head of Finance in 2016. In 2018, Mitesh, along with Vinay Bansal and Ankur Mittal, co-founded Inflection Point Ventures.
The VC fund claims to have over 3,500 investors — mostly CXOs at different companies. To date, it claims to have signed around 55 deals, including Milkbasket, Blusmart, Truly Madly, and Multibhashi, among others.
Journey at Inflection Point Ventures
The angel investor explains that Inflection Point Ventures is like a platform that has investors on one side and founders on the other.
“Every month, we look at close to 200 startup ideas, understand them, meet the founders, the market sources, try and understand the space in detail, and finally, choose a handful of ideas to present to our investors,” he says.
The selected startups pitch their ideas to IPV’s 3,500 investors spread across the world, who share structured feedback on the potential of the idea and founding team.
“Along with our experience and the subject matter experts, who are part of our group, we do thorough due diligence and analysis of the startup idea, including various aspects of the business, market size, demand and supply situation, unit economics, competitive landscape, funding, and a lot of other things. We then decide to invest in the startup and pass the call to our investors,” he explains.
However, investors, post the investment, neglect the startup, believing that investment is a transaction-based approach where one invests into a particular startup and leave it up to the founders to utilise the funds, Mitesh highlights, adding that this is a crucial phase where founders need the mentorship and support the most.
IPV — through its connection with the VCs and other ecosystem partners — helps the founder grow its business.
“An early-stage founder probably will be a great tech guy, or a great product guy, or a great business development guy, but he will not be an all-around CEO. That’s where I think CXOs like us, a platform like ours, comes into the picture. We make sure that we train him and provide him with enough education around various aspects of the business, which makes him successful,” he adds.
To know more, listen to the podcast here.
02:20 – From being a traditional CFO to becoming a VC
05:47 – What role does Inflection Point Ventures play?
07:01 – Helping founders with CXOs on platforms.
09:35 – Back Story: Investing and exiting from BharatPe.
10:56 – IPV thesis: “Businesses will keep pivoting, invest in great founders.”
19:05 – Portfolio investments in e-vehicles, healthcare, and SaaS, among other sectors.
28:02 – Message to founders: “Be very selective and critical while choosing the investor you want to have.”