Responding to a popular request, we are now sharing transcripts of our investor podcast interviews in this new series. The following interview with Nandini Mansinghka was recorded in January 2019.
Nandini Mansinghka is CEO and Managing Director at Mumbai Angels Network, one of the oldest angel networks in India.
Sramana Mitra: Nandini Mansinghka, from Mumbai Angels Network, has been a very early entrant into the Indian entrepreneurship financing ecosystem. She’s a big influencer at a big high impact player in the Indian ecosystem. I’m thrilled to catch up after so many years. Nandini and I last saw each other in person back in 2011 when I was doing a workshop in Mumbai. I will let you introduce yourself and the work of Mumbai Angels Network as a starter and then we’ll dive into the details.
Nandini Mansinghka: I’m the CEO and Managing Director of Mumbai Angels. Mumbai Angels is one of the first angel networks in the country. We started way back in 2006. We’re now 12 years into the ecosystem. Angel investing wasn’t very well understood in the country at that time. From there, today we have a large network of 350 members across seven chapters.
We have a Pan-Indian network in the country. We’re in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Goa, Kolkata, Pune, and Hyderabad. We now have a portfolio of about 130 companies. These are all at the angel stage. We invest anywhere between $20,000 to $30,000, to up to $200,000 in each startup. We don’t just do the initial round but several of our companies also do the bridge round. These are all pre-series A investments.
It’s just recently that we’ve ventured into three other verticals. The first one is what we call the Gold Capital Network. We realize that there was this gap between the angel funding and the companies that were actually being funded by series A and beyond. What was happening is that those ticket sizes might now be big enough. We weren’t finding a platform where these companies could talk to the VCs and family offices. That’s the gap that we’re now filling in.
Now we look at companies. There’s this angel platform and then there’s the series A platform which reminds me about the nominal picture where we look for funding anywhere between half a million to a couple of million dollars. There, the investor base is more on family offices and fellow VC funds. Those are the two things that we’re doing.
The third that we’ve recently launched about five months back is an angel academy. What we realized is that whenever somebody’s coming into the B2B investing ecosystem, irrespective of their ability to invest, a lot of people wouldn’t be ready to invest because they don’t understand the asset class. They don’t understand how to actually go about investing into a startup. We have started taking those sessions.
If you look at what you’re doing, we’re actually trying to do the other side of it. That’s what we do. They’re also doing one very large event in Mumbai on the 27th of February which is called Beyond. This is, again, focused on something that is ranging anywhere from series A and up. That’s again a day-long session where we will get investors and startups and just try to bring that melting pot of ideas and interactions.