Capital, capacity, connections: Top 70 quotes of 2022 on investors and founder relations

In this annual quotes compilation, we share investor insights on business shifts, startup growth, and founding teams. Happy leading!

Capital, capacity, connections: Top 70 quotes of 2022 on investors and founder relations

Wednesday December 28, 2022,

11 min Read

Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a regular feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our past articles. Share these gems and insights with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights.


With the worst of the pandemic behind us (but not completely gone), this has been a time of change and upheaval for startups. Digital transformation and D2C movements have spurred a range of investor opportunities, with markets opening up beyond urban pockets.

Drawn from our comprehensive coverage of the entrepreneurship ecosystem, we present 70 quotes from investors, analysts and founders. See also our earlier compilations from 2021, 2020 and 2019.

We have divided these 50 quotes into ten categories: Foundations, Problem and pitch, Talent and teams, Early stages, Fundraising, Business health, Downturns, Inclusion, Sustainability, and The road ahead.


YourStory wishes all founders and funders a Happy New Year, with much success and scale ahead in 2023!

1

Foundations

Founders today are looking for more than just investors – they want long term partners that understand consumer trends and brands and have a long-term mindset. - Nicholas Cator, Venturi Partners


A good venture capitalist can ensure exponential growth in your networks and find you relevant connections for any business needs. It opens access to an entire ecosystem, often difficult to reach for bootstrapped founders. - Abhishek Goenka, RPSG Capital Ventures

Founder time is the most precious commodity in our world, and we want to be very respectful of that so we can provide teams with as much forward momentum as possible. - Nilesh Balakrishnan, WaterBridge Ventures

The decision of an entrepreneur is based on speed with accuracy coming second, but it is the other way for an investor. - Ashish Kumar, Fundamentum Partnership


It makes logical sense for an angel network to launch a VC fund as it allows them to write larger cheques for startups that require this (money) for their next stage of growth. - Padmaja Ruparel, IAN


Progressive companies are looking at extending their ESOP pools to cover a larger number of employees across grades. Also, we see an increasing number of startup founders topping up the pool with subsequent rounds of funding. - Lakshman Gupta Kanamarlapudi, Qapita

2

Problem and pitch

At a broad level, there are only three basic value propositions. The product or service can be cheaper, better, or faster. - Vidur Vyas, NorthSide


Find and focus on solving genuine, real-world problems — bells and whistles can wait. - Prabhash Nirbhay, Jharkhand Angels

A good pitch is a combination of brevity and clarity. - Abhilash Sethi, Omnivore

The perfect pitch deck provides a significant vision of the company, validates it with data, and is clear in its ask. - Sailesh Ramakrishnan, Rocketship.vc


Be true to your story and 100 percent committed. Make a simple pitch deck and put important data points upfront. - Saloni Jain, SUNiCON Ventures

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Talent and teams

It’s not the business model that you invest in, it’s the founder. - Abhishek Rungta, Seeders VC


One can have the best idea in the world but it might never get off the ground without a good team in place. - Ankur Bansal, Blacksoil


At the end of the day, it is mostly about execution. That defines the success of a great entrepreneur. - Ashmeet Sidana, Engineering Capital

The only mandatory thing for every entrepreneur whether in the 40s, 50s or even 60s is ample perseverance and self-belief. - Ankit Kedia, Capital A

As a business grows and moves from agility to stability, companies start by hiring multitaskers and then seek out domain experts. - Jinesh Shah, Omnivore


Mentoring without capital is useless as much as capital without mentoring. - Naganand Doraswamy, Ideaspring Capital


Even if you are not investing, there’s no need to be harsh. The person hearing those words will never forget what you said. - Ghazal Alagh, Mamaearth


When you are fresh out of college, you might have education and great ideas, but unless you are born into a business family, the necessary human and financial capital would take time to earn. - Ankit Kedia, Capital A

3

Early stages

We see early-growth rounds as an amazing investment opportunity to back founders at a critical inflection point in their venture journey. - Anirudh A Damani, Artha Select Fund


Early-stage startups will be able to raise capital more easily as they are typically more insulated than late-stage deals from fluctuations in the public markets. - Amit Nawka, PwC India


Early stage startups need easier access to non-dilutive funding, they also need mentorship from founders and operators, and a community to empower and learn from. - Prayank Swaroop, Accel

At early-stage, founders need a believer rather than an investor and remove a lot of fundraising headaches. - Vishwanath V, 8i Ventures

There is a strong need for approachable institutional capital support for early-stage founders. - Abhishek Rathi, Fundamental VC


Raising too little, raising too much, raising ahead of product market fit are all challenging. - Dipanjan Basu, Fireside Ventures


When you have finite resources, you can't build everything. - Manu Rikhye, growX ventures


Traditional investors look at startups who have traction or founders with pedigree but it is the angels who are investing into the business or mere ideas on paper. - Venk Krishnan, Nu Ventures

4

Fundraising

Access to capital and fundraising is one of the important aspects of growth for any business. - Bhavik Vasa, GetVantage


Good businesses are never out of funding. - Ruchir Arora, CollegeDekho


When it rains, you open an umbrella. - Masayoshi Son, SoftBank

The Total Addressable Market (TAM) is the most important aspect of looking at potential investment in a company. - Ashutosh Sharma, Prosus Ventures

Effectively, VCs can help the venture stabilise for the next phase of growth. - Amit Sharma, Cactus Venture Partners


Viewed from an early investors’ perspective, a startup evolution is a relay, the baton of lead investor being passed on from one to another as the startup navigates through multiple funding rounds to reach scale. - Ashwin Raguraman, Bharat Innovation Fund


Sometimes, companies are unable to raise funding due to the timing and the market sentiment. - Ganapathy Venugopal, Axilor Ventures

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Business health

Managing your finances can be tough, but attempting to do so without having the right mindset is even tougher. - Mandar Marathe, Koppr


The predictability of a subscription business model is extremely attractive. - Tejeshwi Sharma, Sequoia India


Better corporate governance is a shared responsibility between founders, management and the board. And to get there the ecosystem needs to come together and commit to some changes. - Sequoia Capital India


I believe in focusing on both growth and profitability at the same time. If you have got the right model and the right basic unit economics, you can focus on both and the rest falls into place. - Nandan Nilekani


Compounding will bestow its magic and benefits upon you only after a very long time, after testing your patience and conviction to the fullest. - Gautam Baid, Stellar Wealth Partners

No matter which stages a startup is in, they would do well to keep a close tab on core business and ensure unit economics is strict as per plan. - Amit Nawka, PwC India

Most businesses fail due to the mismanagement of their short-term and long-term funds. - Ravi Modani, 121 Finance


Scale is an outcome of solving the most important problems for businesses. - Nilesh Kothari, Trifecta Capital

6
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Downturns

Cinderella times will not last forever. We are not very far away from the clock striking midnight. - Uday Kotak, Kotak Mahindra Bank


There is much more reasonableness in terms of valuation...The exuberance of 2021 is gone. - V Balakrishnan, Exfinity Venture Partners

There is definitely a correction happening in the startup ecosystem and the cuts will be deep. - Varun Malhotra, Quona Capital

You will see less funding in new companies, particularly Series C or D level startups, even if they are performing well. This has percolated down and set in a chain reaction in the investment community. - Raghunandan G, Zolve


VCs have the money but it will take some more time for the positive attitude and sentiment to come back. - Amit Kumar, ah! Ventures


M&As and consolidation are definitely going to be the flavour of the season, if I may call it that. It is a direct fallout of the squeeze on late-stage funding. - Anup Jain, Orios Venture Partners


Supposedly founder-friendly investors, many of whom have only ever seen a bull market, are now having their first truly difficult conversations with CEOs. - Lightspeed India


Valuations have become more realistic with rationalisation hitting the market; only those growth-stage startups with solid business fundamentals can now establish trust with VCs. - Vivek Sunder, Cuemath

The safe move is to plan for the worst. - Y Combinator

Life’s ups and downs give you something. At the very least, they leave you with a good story to tell. - Radhika Gupta, Edelweiss Asset Management

7

Inclusion

There is tremendous [gender] disparity on the investor side, which also affects what kind of startups get funded. - Shrishti Sahu, SSV

When women invest, they tend to have a better average annual return from their investments than men. - Marci McGregor, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Women are not very comfortable with their (often judgemental) gynaecologist and need someone trustworthy and comfortable to open up – and that is where we feel femtech startups can fill a gap. - Surabhi Purwar, Titan Capital


There are complementary strengths between genders, which help build a much more valuable venture. - Padmaja Ruparel, IAN

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Sustainability

Climate Change & Energy Transition is a business opportunity, as they demand reinvention of every segment of the industry. We are at the beginning of a new era! - Raiyaan Shingati, Transition VC


A transition to clean, green, and healthy living conditions will require significant financial investments, strategic alliances, and ongoing community support. - Shantanu Sonaikar, Pi Green Innovations

Building sustainable brands is the dual responsibility of investors and brands alike. - Kanwaljit Singh, Fireside Ventures

Entrepreneurship powered by innovation has huge potential to address the problem of plastic waste and create impact. - Smita Rakesh, Social Alpha


Businesses globally are looking at integrating sustainability into their business design and operations. - Avnish Sabharwal, Accenture Ventures


Startups can also play a role in increasing the availability and deployment of green finance, by replicating the success of fractional real estate platforms – and shifting focus towards green assets such as solar and wind plants. - Anjali Bansal, Avaana Capital


Financial gains and impact, whether on industry, people, or the planet, are not mutually exclusive. - Sheetal Bahl, Merak Ventures

Electric mobility is the panacea for the sustainable transportation needs, there is an urgent need for consistent investments in the sector. - Ankit Kedia, Capital-A

Today's startup is tomorrow’s corporate, and if they don't fix themselves now they will need to later. So it's better to build the triple bottom line thought now itself. - Nagaraja Prakasam

9

The road ahead

A curated deal flow will eventually not only save cost and time for investors, but will also multiply the value of their investments – the sole objective of an investor. - Amit Jain, StartupBay


Valuations and velocity will move with markets. - Sequoia

Macro, micro, international investors, and several other sentiments play a role in share prices. - Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm

The unicorn tag is a milestone. As an investor, we look at it as more long-lasting. - Anand Prasanna, Iron Pillar


There could be funding lulls, but startup formations are not based on that. Companies will still be forming, and with good founders. - Vinay Bansal, Inflection Point Venture


There is too much talk of a downturn. Best founders emerge from these air pockets. There is no .com bust. Tech has permeated everything. - Hemant Mohapatra, Lightspeed India


YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).