Sramana Mitra: Can you talk a bit about the way you work? If an entrepreneur wants to work with Mumbai Angels, what would be the procedure? Is it a subset of the angels who are investing? How do you manage that process? Just give us a little bit of color on the mechanics.
Nandini Mansinghka: We receive about 5,000 applications for funding every year. These come through several different channels. One of our strongest ones are recommendations by members and by companies that got funded earlier in our ecosystem. That’s one. A lot of startups have a line to pitch directly at mumbaiangels.com. There’s the outreach that we’re doing continuously. We’re there at events. We’re there at different forums and trying to attend.
We work a lot with accelerators and incubators trying to see that their company can be looked at. Once the company applies to us and once we get in touch with them, we ask for their decks. That’s our first starting point. We have this kind of a format which is called the BC. It’s called the business case analysis. We would want to understand from the start what is the problem that they’re solving.
Why do they think they’re unique? Why should we bet on them? This is done by our internal investment team. Once you clear two levels, we put the shortlisted companies out on the platform. Right now, we’re using this as our platform where we put these shortlisted companies for our investors to look at. This is a very focused place where we then start evaluating things. We look at these members and early adopters.
So what’s happening is that while you open this up to all 350 members, not everybody is active online. There would be some. Maybe 20% to 30% of our member base is going to do pitches. Then based on their interests, we again shortlist or come to our final shortlist. In any given cycle, our shortlisting is actually anywhere between 1.5 to 2% of the companies that have applied.
What I mean by that is an annual number of the 5000 companies that apply for funding, we look at anywhere between 50 to 70 of them for our members. Once you’re shortlisted over there, then we have new showcases across all our seven chapters. So these are physical meet-ups that happen. We will have anywhere between 20 to 70 people in the room. These are investors plus guests who’ve come who are looking to become members with us. Then every company gets to pitch. It’s a half an hour pitch.
These are physical pitches that you’re making, which is where you’re pitching for 15 minutes and then there’s Q&A for half an hour. Then there’s this networking lunch or dinner that happens where you can interact with the members. Each company could be showcasing anywhere between three to five chapters. Of course, they are open to foreign investments. Typically, it would go to for three or four chapters, but you would be open for investments across all seven chapters. Then we start looking at the investor interest level.
Depending on the investor interest level, we call and start moving to the process. Then the book closes or the investment closes and the amount that is asked for is covered by all the investors. Typically, in each investment, we see anywhere from 5 to 15 investors coming in. Each one would write a check of anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000.