Responding to a popular request, we are now sharing transcripts of our investor podcast interviews in this new series. The following interview with Naren Gupts was recorded in October 2014.
Naren Gupta, co-founder of Nexus Venture Partners – a firm with an excellent track record of investing in the Silicon Valley – India corridor, but with a global market point of view – shares his insights, nuggets, and interesting wisdom. He is a veteran investor who is also strikingly polite and humble.
Sramana Mitra: I want to tell you one story before we start the discussion and ask you questions. One of your
portfolio companies was actually the impetus behind us starting these online roundtables. That was DimDim, which was one of our case studies. I think it was way back in 2007 as part of the Entrepreneur Journeys series. That was just around the time when my first Entrepreneur Journeys book was coming out. That turned into these online mentoring roundtables.
If you look at our first series, the first 30 to 50 of the roundtables were held on DimDim. Tell us what your thoughts are on where you are investing these days in terms of cloud. What have been some of the interesting case studies and what is your investment thesis around the cloud today?
Naren Gupta: Before I answer your question, I want to say that what you have done with One Million by One Million is really remarkable. Giving people the courage to start companies without raising financing, I really believe, is the way to go. One of my biggest concerns in the venture business right now is that ownership stakes are going down too quickly. I don’t think it does good for us as investors and it certainly is not the right thing for the founders.
We want the founders to do well and that’s how we will do well as well. DimDim or DD is a fantastic person. We like DD and other entrepreneurs because they can see around corners. Cloud is a common term today. It was in 2007 when we funded DD. Cloud was not a common word in the technology space. For people who are able to see around corners and see what the future might be like, that is the kind of thing that allows them to create new companies and also bootstrap the companies.
DD, by the way, bootstrapped the company for almost a year. That really worked very well for him because he didn’t have to raise a lot of funding. When we sold the company, he and his co-founders had a significant stake in the company. I really want to encourage all entrepreneurs to take the plunge and take the company to a certain stage. If you can’t, then you should raise funding. If you can, please do that because it’s good for us and it’s good for you as well.