How Fluid Ventures is facilitating investments to level the playing field for D2C brands

Gurugram-based Fluid Ventures invests in visionary entrepreneurs creating digital-first and innovative consumer brands while driving positive change in consumer behaviour.

“While there were loads of potential investors in India funding at Series A level, there were not enough funds available to make quick decisions at an early stage. Thus, we decided to go for a micro venture capital fund, while investing in early-stage D2C based startups, and arrive at the seed stage,” recalls Amit Singal, General Partner, Fluid Ventures. As an angel investor for the last 13 years, he realised the huge vacuum experienced by early-stage startups while they were in the process of raising funds.

An early-stage, D2C focused micro venture capital fund, Gurugram-based Fluid Ventures invests in visionary entrepreneurs creating digital-first and innovative consumer brands while driving positive change in consumer behaviour.

How D2C altered the consumer brand landscape

The entire customer base is shifting towards e-commerce websites due to internet penetration, according to Amit. “The traditional buying methods have taken a backseat. Besides, the e-commerce websites are acting like a bridge between the producers and consumers while easing the process of selling the products directly to consumers. Thus, we are keen on working in the D2C domain, minus the presence of intermediaries, and enhancing the connection between the manufacturers and consumers,” he explains.

With 10 years of investing experience, an Rs 80 crore fund size, and investing in over 30 startups, Fluid Ventures ensures hands-on strategic support while spreading its deep network in the startup ecosystem.

Like most new ventures, Fluid Ventures was also fraught with challenges. “We had to refine our strategies on how to search for the right startup, how to invest in them, what should be the correct strategy to raise funds, and so on. Despite these, we overcame everything with time, learned from our mistakes, and crossed all hurdles with the help and advice of our advisors, seniors, and colleagues,” he says.

Amit feels that the D2C sector holds major business potentials for Fluid Ventures and hopes to rope in major brands in the future. “The sector banks on a host of selling strategies like customer behaviour, how attractive the website design should be, how to engage customers to the website. To cut it short, D2C is the future of India and we hope to see a lot of changes in consumer behaviour,” he adds.

Make it easy with .in

Getting a business online is a priority today as consumers have developed the habit to search for the company or products while interacting with a person.

“Our organization is made up of Indian partners, meant for the Indian startups, and using Indian currency. Thus, the .in domain name extension is beneficial to us while we set up a strong foothold in representing our organisation to the world. We are in India, and for the Indians, and this thought is well portrayed in the process of making the right impression,” adds Amit.

Amit also feels that opting for the .in domain is a great investment. “If you want to portray Indianness and want to venture out to the next segment, the .in domain works as a great investment,” he adds.

The National Internet Exchange for India (NIXI) is helping many businesses across the country to get a .in or .Bharat domain. Enterprises irrespective of their scale and size can avail a .in domain with the help of NIXI. It is affordable and can be availed in more than 22 languages for businesses coming from all regions of the country.

Growth and revenue

Fluid Ventures aims at helping more startups and wants to restrain situations where startups face growth obstacles due to funding. “Our strategy remains to raise more money from investors while deploying it for the startups. We want to play a significant role in the startup ecosystem and help them to progress,” says Amit.

Revealing the company’s strategy of increasing the funds, he adds, “Initially, we had plans for deploying funds worth Rs 50 crore for the early-stage startups. Now, we are planning for fund 2 which would be bigger than the previous one, valuing almost Rs 2,000-2,050 crore, and then gradually shifting to fund 3 in the future.”

Besides funding, Amit shared that they would like to work towards the formation of a startup network that would help them in connecting with potential customers. “After proper funding, it’s necessary to have a solid customer base. Thus, for the future, we would be having dedicated teams in our organisation for helping our portfolio companies in planning the right marketing strategies, help them in recruitment, find the right customers, and appoint the right kind of mentor/advisor for their growth. We not only want to give them money but also provide help in every aspect,” he says.

The ‘Shaping India Inc's Online Growth’ series chronicles the journeys of startups and SMEs in India and how creating an online presence on the .in or .Bharat domain powered their success stories.


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