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October 19, 2012

When Everyone Turns Early Stage Investor...

While Pravin Jadhav, founder of social media startup Wishberg, did not mean this great post to be a critique of investors (and more as an "Do's and Don'ts" list for other Indian startup founders), the extracts below pertaining to his interaction with "investors" sound scary.
A known investor turned up 35 minutes late for a meeting, did not apologize, later he ordered food and drinks with no courtesy to offer us. During the discussion he was ogling at girls in the restaurant all the time, found someone he knew and told her he will see her in 5 minutes – all this right in front of us. We ended the meeting in next 2 minutes and walked away.

Another day, another prominent investor met us. He disagreed on one of our points, he started off, “Do you know whom you’re talking to? Do you know who I am?” We maintained our cool, thanked him for his time with a smile and promised ourselves never to see him again.

...We had many funny incidents around getting funded, looking for mentors or folks we came across in this journey.
  • One investor extending a term sheet on a condition that we agree to monetize from Day 1 (something I have not believed in).
  • One senior executive at MNC insisted we take him on the board of directors and he will open doors for us. (Since then I have felt being on board of directors is the new Page 3)
  • An incubator claiming they are better than Y-Combinator or 500 Startups. ‘We can give you what they cannot.’
  • A so-called angel investor claiming to have invested in many startups, not ready to name a single since its private and confidential. (Rocket Science? Even SpaceX investors were known.)
  • Someone who does not know ‘C’ of Coding telling us we should hire a Chief Technology Officer (he even suggested one with 22 Lac INR salary, who could join us at minimal hike).
  • Feedback on Design: ‘Use bright red color instead of blue. Red means attention, users should pay attention.’
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