How this brand is guiding budding entrepreneurs through their startup journey
Finding investors to fund a company can be a difficult task, and every entrepreneur who has set out to start a company has faced this challenge at some point in their journey. Investors are important in an entrepreneur’s journey to foster their innovative ideas and give them the wings to fly.
As mentioned, networking with investors can be tricky, which is why several organisations work towards bringing investors and entrepreneurs together. Founded by Karan Verma and Dr. Dinesh Singh, Faad Network’s motivation has always been to serve entrepreneurs the best way they can, and it has worked towards handholding early-stage startups by providing them with the right network and capital.
Genesis of an investor and investments platform
Aditya Arora, the CEO of the company says that the motivation behind starting Faad Network was to serve entrepreneurs, and they started as the one-stop solution for all entrepreneurial needs. “When we started, we helped them with all associated and light services of investments, content, PR, finding the right co-founders, looking for the right subject-matter experts, and more,” says Aditya.
In 2019, they pivoted to an investor-like model because they realised that investment is a major pain point for early-stage startups. “If a network in the seed stage can be there to participate, not just to provide capital but also value, ventures can be scaled much faster,” believes Aditya.
Talking about the USP of the company, Aditya says that having been entrepreneurs themselves they don’t just invest in companies for the IRR they gain from the investment, but also work closely with the founders of the startup which makes them one of the most founder-friendly investment companies in the country.
Speaking about the challenges in their journey, Aditya says that they faced lots of challenges in finding the right kind of startups to work with. “Every startup you pick may not be the best fit for you. I think that if you’re working towards helping startups scale up, then the relationship has to be more of a marriage. So I feel that finding the right startup was a challenge for us,” he says.
He adds that dividing the framework for startups was another challenge that they had to overcome. He says, “Startups in India require everything to work with, but you can’t be the master of everything. So, figuring out what is that one priority that you need to focus on with every startup was another challenge.”
Growing digitally and serving India
Aditya says that one of the key factors that have helped Faad Network grow over the half-decade is that the venture ecosystem is evolving of late, which has enabled a lot of startups to raise good capital. He adds that they grew their investor network eventually, most of whom helped them grow their brand as well.
Aditya also adds that digitalisation has helped them grow their business rapidly. He says, “Earlier, we were offline-driven, but when the pandemic hit, we completely shifted our focus to an online-led approach. This helped us attract startups not just from Delhi-NCR, but from the rest of the world.”
Speaking about choosing the .in domain, Aditya says that they wanted to serve pan-India and choosing the domain was the best option for them. “Our services are purely noble, so we want to serve the entire country, and we don’t want to restrict ourselves to limited geographies. In terms of numbers, it has helped us reach out to more than 1500 investors, and serve more than 5000 startups in this category,” he says.
He adds that in terms of revenue, they have seen a growth of more than four times, thanks to the domain, which adds to the universality of the product/service. He says that the operationality of their product has become completely digital and that they want to serve startups across the world with the .in domain.
Managed by the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), the .in and .Bharat domains have helped several startups like Faad Network stamp their authority in the digital ecosystem. Available in 22 Indian languages, these domains have not only helped these brands reach their customers seamlessly but also in making sure that they grew their business extensively.
Speaking about the future of the brand, Aditya says that they want to take take a step ahead in terms of democratising the network fully. “Right now, angel investors and investments are an HNI-driven market, and not a lot of retail participation is happening there. We don’t just want to bring in retail participation in terms of numbers and volumes, but in terms of knowledge as well, and help them understand and decode going about the angel investment journey,” he concludes.
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.