I was referred to a start up by a friend of mine who wanted me to give my view on whether he can be referred to any angel network or not.
Here is some context:
Domain: Edutech through mobile
Company: US registered
Promoter: Educated in premium institutes in both Engineering and MBA
Age: Early 50s
Money spent: $500K
Reason for raise: Marketing and reaching global market
Pitch: Have a 200,000 downloads, no revenue. Claims good review of 3 stars in app stores.
This is the conversation that enfolded when we met:
ME: Have you tried raising money in the US?
Him: (Frustrated reply) I am not from Ivy League.
ME: Why didn’t you launch in the US Market?
Him: India has a huge problem. Where is the content coming from? There is a retired teacher in Singapore who created the content.
So I was not satisfied with the quality of the content. Though it was claimed to be a high quality video, it was in reality a poor demonstration for any 6th grade student.
When I told him that it was too early and also mentioned that fact that there was no confounder, he asked me these questions:
Q1. (Again in a frustrated tone) How many investments have you done?
I replied that through the angel network I have done $500 k in 15 Projects.
To this he said that he has done that amount in one project. It was him implying that he was more committed.
Q2. Did you reach any incubator in premium institutes like IITM? He added that they are not producing good tech companies and that no Indian is as big as Apple. He spoke about Steve Jobs and he kept on saying that Indians do not know how to invest. Apparently, Indians have ‘herd mentality’ and cannot identify a good project. He continued his argument against investors who do not know to invest in good projects like his.
I told him that if there are transactions, he would find investors. I also told him that I can refer him to Funds.
He said that he needed money and he walked off creating a disturbance in my mind. I wished him all the best. This is one lesson on how a pitch should not end!