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India’s Flagship Global Product Story: Druva CEO Jaspreet Singh (Part 4)

Posted on Sunday, Mar 10th 2013

Sramana: Financing in India has become a little bit easier. One of our 1M/1M companies managed to raise their first million from a VC. We worked with them during the bootstrapped phase. Our advice was to get to the point where they had paying customers. They sell to small businesses, so it’s not like they had $100,000 checks, but they have a product that customers pay for. They validated their business before they raised money. Even though it is getting better in India, it is still very tough overall.

Jaspreet Singh: I agree that it is still very tough. The ecosystem is still very young in India. The VCs put money on great ideas, and there are a few smart VCs. The top four investors in India are Sequoia, Excel, Nexus, and IDG. They have invested the majority of the money in India. It is still very difficult to get early-stage funding.

Sramana: How much did you raise from Sequoia, by the way?

Jaspreet Singh: Sequoia gave a good termsheet for our Series A. Initially I chose them for their brand and reputation but I also built a great working relationship with Shailendra and Shailesh. Both are very different personally and contributed greatly to my personal growth as well as Druva’s growth. From day one they insisted that Druva was a global product story, and rightfully pushed me to move to US. That was probably the best decision so far for Druva. The Sequoia US team was highly instrumental in helping me hire the first few important roles and also meet all the right people.

When I was travelling between US and India, I met Jishnu from Nexus. They moved super fast to give Druva a term sheet. And although I did have an alternate offer, what really enticed me this time was the great set of people at Nexus. Both Jishnu and Naren from Nexus have been a great help, and I still interact with them regularly. They were, and still are, very helpful in Druva becoming a global player.
I think in hindsight, Druva was lucky. But I can very easily see other startups in India not able to attract the right capital.

Sramana: How did you meet your U.S. head of sales?

Jaspreet Singh: He is actually the head of North America. Our investors introduced us to various key people. I was introduced to an American living in India who was getting ready to move back to the U.S. That bridged the time gap until I hired Mark Tracy as the VP of sales. The mid-market practice is still with Ash. We have a European practice and an Asian practice as well.

Sramana: Where do you see the maximum traction? Is it mid-market or enterprise, or a combination of the two?

Jaspreet Singh: We thought the mid-market would be a sweet spot, but recent events have changed that perspective. HP products are being used by everybody in the market from Cisco to McKinsey and Bain. That is going down and we are starting to see a lot of enterprise traction. We started off our enterprise practice with one person and that is now a five-person team. It is an amazingly fast growing market. We have seven people on the mid-market team in the U.S. We have nine people on our enterprise and mid-market practice in Europe, and we have four in Asia.

This segment is part 4 in the series : India's Flagship Global Product Story: Druva CEO Jaspreet Singh
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