Posted on Thursday, Dec 12th 2013
During today’s roundtable, we saw a couple of entrepreneurs from the portfolio of Kae Capital based in India.
First up, Farooq Adam, working with Kae Capital from Mumbai, India, pitched Shopsense, a retail technology solution that enables brick-and-mortar retailers to place large tablets at their stores, then offer recommendations to shoppers, replicating an e-commerce like experience in stores.
Shopsense has several customers, and a validated product and business model. They believe that their largest market will be North America, which I think is true.
One thing that made me scratch my head with this company is that the company is planning to register in Singapore, yet raise money in the US and market and sell to US enterprise customers. In my experience, US investors prefer investing in entities that are incorporated as Delaware corporations. So I am skeptical about the advice Shopsense is getting about registering in Singapore.
Next, Shalin Tejal Jain, also working with Kae Capital from Bangalore, India, pitched MetisMe, a one-click solution to storing email attachments in the cloud. Shalin has 6000 users who are giving him good feedback, and one of those is a request for workflow tools.
I asked Shalin a question: is this a feature or a product? It’s a very common question that entrepreneurs get asked.
The danger of trying to build a company around a feature without a well thought through positioning and game plan of how to compete with large incumbents is that in one move, you can be rendered unviable.
In this case, what worries me is that Box can include this feature in a heartbeat. There is no barrier to protect MetisMe from being replicated.
There are ways of competing in such markets, but they require very sophisticated competitive positioning work that the company currently lacks.
Then, Kamal Laungani from Mumbai, India, pitched Fund Zippy, a rewards-based crowdfunding platform for Indian innovators, film-makers, and such. A KickStarter for India, so to speak. The space has competition, transactions (about 2 Crores worth this year) are happening.
My take is that this market will grow slowly. India is a low-trust society. Judging by the slow pace of adoption of e-commerce, as well as the small size of the angel investment available, I find it hard to believe that this industry will cross the chasm rapidly.
This, of course, reinforces what I have said elsewhere. There is definitely a business here. However, this business is a slow-growth business, and most likely, will not attract seed financing from professional investors very quickly. It may take a few years of bootstrapping before it turns into a fundable scenario.
We’re seeing this phenomenon across the board. Good, interesting ideas that offer real value, solve real problems, address real market needs – face hurdles getting off the ground due to the seed capital gap facing many eco-systems, including India. My Seed India: How To Navigate The Seed Capital Gap In India book addresses precisely this topic.
You can find the recording of today’s roundtable here.
As always, I would very much like to hear about your business, so let me invite you to come and pitch at one of our free 1M/1M public roundtables. We will be holding future roundtables at 8 a.m. PST on:
-Thursday, December 19, Register Here.
-Thursday, January 9 – 200th Roundtable – Register Here.
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This segment is a part in the series : Roundtable Recap
. March 6 - You’re Never Too Old To Startup . February 27 - Confidentiality is Overrated . February 20 - In The Wake of WhatsApp . February 6 - First Time, From Barbados . January 30 - Value Proposition Needs To Be Laser Sharp . January 23 - All Emerging Market Ventures . January 16 - Investors Fund Businesses, Not Concepts . January 9 - Startup Mentoring Takes Patience . December 19 - Final One For 2013 . December 12 - Spotlight on Kae Capital, IndiaMore »» . December 5 - Seed India Book Launch . November 14 - Do Your Competitive Analysis . October 31 - Book Launch – Feminine Feminism . October 24 - Bootstrapping Strategies . October 10 - Try To Minimize Capital Risk . October 3 - Devil Lies In The Details . September 26 - Launch Of A New Book . September 19 - SMB Focused Offerings . September 12 - Peer Validation Is Irrelevant . September 5 - Mentoring Networks Do Not Work . August 29 - Window Into Pakistan . August 22 - All Indian Affair . July 25 - Equity Financing From Customers . July 18 - Awake in Australia . July 11 - A Romp Through Some Global Entrepreneurship Hubs . June 20 - Three Indians . June 6 - Fashion Apps . May 30 - Rackspace Cloud - 1M/1M Startup Challenge Finals . May 23 - Turning Dreams Into Cash . May 16 - Calculate Your TAM Accurately . May 9 - Promising Portfolio From India . May 2 - Tech Recruitment in Bulgaria; Custom Fashion in India; Incubator-in-a-Box . April 25 - IT For Cleantech IN, Cleantech OUT . April 18 - From Singapore To Israel . April 11 - India’s Startup Industry Has A Major Gap – Product Marketing . April 4 - Don’t Waste Your Time . March 28 - Positioning And Focus Create Fast Sales Cycles . March 21 - Differentiation Is Key . March 14 - Spotlight On ProductNation, India . March 7 - The Diabetics Epidemic . February 21 - Damsels In Distress . February 14 - Stealth Is Overrated . February 7 - Joint Session with Startup Weekend . January 31 - Return On Investment . January 24 - Meet The One Million Club . January 17 - Winners Of The Second New Year Challenge 2013 Final . January 10 - Winners of the New Year Challenge 2013 First Final . January 3 - Last Few Hours To Vote For 1M/1M New Year Challenge 2013 . December 20 - New Year Challenge Voting Round Begins . December 13 - Focus On Artificial Intelligence . December 11 - IBM SmartCamp Barcelona . December 6 - New Year Challenge 2013 . November 29 - An Inside View Into Mentoring 2.0 . November 15 - Democratization Of Startup Financing . November 8 - Never Too Old To Startup . Kolkata MUST Clinch This Time . October 26 - Emerging Kerala . October 18 - Carbon Trading In Bulgaria . October 11 - Don’t Wait For Someone To Fund Your Alpha . October 4 - Kolkata 1M/1M Pitch-Fest . September 13 - Five 1M/1M Ambassadors Win Scholarships . September 6 - OrangeScape Launches KiSSFLOW . August 30 - Hybrid Business Models . August 23 - Attention, FinTech Entrepreneurs! . August 2 - The Free Rider Problem . July 26 - Date First, Don’t Rush Into A Marriage . July 19 - Winners Of A&N Media-Elance Contest With Kings College, London . July 12 - Spotlight On Western Massachusetts . July 5 - The Challenge Of Navigating Long Sales Cycles . June 21 - Spotlight On Colorado . June 19 - Winners Of The A&N Media-Elance Contest With London School Of Economics SU Entrepreneurs & European Student Startups . June 14 - Winners Of The A&N Media-Elance Contest With Imperial College, London . June 7 - Winners Of Second BlueSnap-Elance Finals . June 4 - Winners Of First BlueSnap-Elance Finals . May 31 - Go, Kolkata! . May 22 - Winners Of TechHub-A&N Media Battle Of The Startups Contest In London Win 1M/1M Scholarships . May 10 - BlueSnap-Elance Contest Applications Deadline This Weekend . May 3 - Some Wonderful Opportunities With Corporate Partners . April 26 - A Rare Women-Only Session . April 19 - Tyranny Of The TAM . April 12 - More From Indian Entrepreneurs . April 3 - Rendezvous In Bangalore . March 15 - Spotlight On 3 Day Startup Tel-Aviv . March 12 - Winners Of Microsoft Israel Scholarships . March 1 - Strategy Gaps Need To Be Plugged . February 23 - Microsoft Israel To Offer 1M/1M Scholarships . February 16 - What’s Happening In Turkey? . February 9 - Are You Fundable? . February 2 - YCombinator vs. 1M/1M . January 26th - Spotlight On Jacksonville, Florida . January 19 - Are Media Sites Fundable? . January 12-13 - Spotlight On IIT Kharagpur, India . January 5 - ERP Galore . December 22 - Free Apps, Ad-Supported Business Models => Dangerous! . December 15 - Web 3.0 And Social Dancing; Romania Emerging . December 8 - Three Open Opportunities For 2012 . December 1 - 1M/1M Premium Company Freshdesk Wins Funding From Accel Partners . November 17 - Business Schools And Early Stage Entrepreneurship . November 3 - VCs Are Not Always Right . October 27 - Check Out Stanzr . October 20 - Non-profits And For-profits . October 13 - FREE Is Not A Business Model . October 6 - Dedicated To Steve Jobs, Reinforcing Mission To Restructure Capitalism . September 29 - From Poland To Argentina . September 22 - How Do You Catalyze A Region’s Entrepreneurship? . September 15 - Do Your Homework First . September 8 - A View Into Israeli Start-ups . September 1 - Fall Call To Action . August 25 - How To Use Twitter For Lead Generation . August 11 - Menlo Park And The Silicon Valley Renaissance . August 4 - How Do You Bootstrap Freemium Ventures? . July 28 - Investors And Incubators Need To Look At Pre-Incubation . July 21 - Crowd Sourced Funding Exchanges - An Emerging Trend . June 30 - Continued International Participation . June 23 - New Assessment Tool For Entrepreneurs . June 16 - Exciting Companies Lined Up For Microsoft Startup Grant Finals . June 9 - Silicon Valley . June 2 - 1M/1M And Incubators - What We Have Learned . May 26 - Twitter, LinkedIn - Why Not Affiliates? . May 19, Making Money From Blogs . May 12 - Two Really Cool Companies . May 5 - Ownership Matters . April 28 - Guerrilla P.R. & SEO Most Profitable Customer Acquisition Strategies . April 21- Incubators Are Reaching Out To 1M/1M . April 17 - High-Octane Energy In Pune . April 16 - 1M/1M Partners With Indian Angel Network Incubator . April 9 - 1M/1M Announces Partnership With TiE Chennai . April 6 - 1M/1M Announces Important Partnership With MAD Incubator, Malaysia . March 31 - Microsoft’s $100,000 India Startup Challenge Grant . March 24 - 75th Session Spotlights The Midwest . March 17 - Spotlight On Latin And Central America . March 10 - Spotlight On India . March 3 - Spotlight On The Northwest . February 24 - VCs, Angels, Incubators, Accelerators – What Are You Doing With Your Rejects? . February 17 - Indian Company Plugs Gap In Google’s Enterprise Solution . February 10 - When Keywords Are Competitive . February 3 - Indian Entrepreneurs Are Maturing . January 27 - Non-Dilutive Financing Through Revenue Sharing . January 20 - Personalization Remains An Open Problem . January 13 - Top 10 Online Advertising Trends For The Decade . January 6 - Top 10 Vertical and Social Web Trends For The Decade . December 16 - Top 10 Tech Trends To Watch . December 9 - Where Should You Raise Money? . December 2 - Niche Marketplace Businesses Can Be Interesting . November 18 - Not Coming To The Rescue Of Victory . November 11 - African Tech Entrepreneurs Emerging . November 4 - Premium Lounge Sneak Preview . October 28 – Convert Potential Competitors To Partners . October 21 - Bootstrapping Comes In Many Flavors . October 14 - Professional Investors Do Not Invest In $20 Million Markets . October 7 - Try To Get At Least $2M Pre-Money In Seed Round Valuation . September 30 - Investors Don't Fund Broad Ideas . September 23 - Do Not Spray And Pray . September 16 – 5 Cloud Computing Opportunities for Entrepreneurs . September 9 - Open Opportunities In Cloud Computing And Rural BPO . September 2 - Find High Velocity Channels . August 26 - 85%-90% Of Search Traffic Comes From Organic Search . August 19 - Niche E-Commerce Is Great For Bootstrapping . August 5 - Paying Customers =>Validation =>Valuation . July 29 - Startups In Malaysia . July 22 - Bootstrap Using Services . July 15 - A Market Of Late Adopters . July 8 - The EJ Methodology . July 1 - Get Your Pricing Model Validated . June 24 – Three Startups That Can Hit One Million Dollars . June 17 – Online Education Startups . June 10 – Efficient Targeting . June 3 – Defining Market Segments . May 27 – Is The Venture Worth Your Time? . May 20 – Validation, Validation, Validation . May 6 – Defining Value Proposition . April 29 – Finding The Right Direction . April 22 – The Original Runners . April 15 – Small Is OK; The Goal Is Profitability . April 8 – A Focus On E-Commerce . April 1 – Bootstrapping Tips . March 25 – A Mixed Bag Of Advice