The Weekend Fund's Ryan Hoover says actively looking to invest in Indian startups
As founder of one of the most popular product discovery and community engagement platforms—Product Hunt—Ryan Hoover has reinvented ‘launch day’ for startups.
And, after the successful acquisition ofby Naval Ravikant-co-founded-AngelList in 2016, Ryan has moved to the other side of the table and donned the investor’s hat with his early-stage venture fund—Weekend Fund.
The four-year-old US-based fund, incorporated by Ryan, Vedika Jain, and Maryam Mazraei, has made 31 investments to date across various startups, with a common thread of strong technology.
As an investor at Weekend Fund, Ryan is particularly excited about the Indian startup ecosystem and is looking to bet on homegrown ventures. Its current portfolio has roughly six to seven Indian startups, including, , , and , with an average ticket size of $100-200K.
“We're going to see a lot more entrepreneurs and founders come out of India. There are already a ton, but there's going to be more and more as we see more of these IPOs and success stories come about,” he said during his conversation with Shradha Sharma at YourStory’s TechSparks 2021.
Growing optimism about India
While the Weekend Fund’s overall portfolio is dominated by US-based companies, around 20 percent of it is in India, Europe, Canada, and Brazil. Ryan’s optimism about Indian startups comes at the back of growing digitisation and shift in consumer behaviour post pandemic.
What particularly interests Ryan are the startups that are able to capitalise on the shifts in consumer behaviour or technology.
Investment thesis for Indian startups
Weekend Fund helps founders with product, community building, and GTM strategy and invests in early-stage startups around the world across consumer and B2B. Its investment ticket ranges from $100K - $250K and the current size of the fund stands at $10 million. Weekend Fund’s LPs include Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon, Jana Messerschmidt, Chris and Crystal Sacca, Hunter Walk, Kevin Rose, and Garry Tan.
Majority of Ryan’s understanding about the Indian startups ecosystem comes from his co-founder Vedika Jain, who grew up in Bangalore and worked across companies like Kalaari Capital and Kairos Capital in India in between her shuffles across the world.
Its first investment in India was in online video editing platform InVideo, which was discovered by Vedika on Product Hunt. The startup had raised $2.5 million funding from Sequoia's Surge, along with angel investors like former Facebook executive Anand Chandrasekaran,founder Kunal Bahl, DoorDash executive Gokul Rajaram, True North's Haresh Chawla, and Cred's Miten Sampat besides Ryan.
“@weekendfund’s first investment in India, just raised their A. Credit to@vedikaja_in. She found this company on Product Hunt and reached out to invest mid-round,” Ryan shared on Twitter.
Ryan also said the team is eyeing the crypto space, especially social and community tokens, along with categories like audio and voice.
“We are a pretty broad investor. One area that we're spending more and more time in is blockchain or crypto, whatever you want to title it. Fundamentally, the internet is being reshaped and also the way the communities form. And the way they’re incentivised is also changing with both cultural and technology shifts. So, we're doing a lot more there. And I find it really exciting for the future.”
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