Posted on Friday, Oct 11th 2019
There’s a GIGANTIC myth in the startup ecosystem. Go BIG or Go HOME! Raise GOBS of venture capital. Otherwise, you can’t build anything big. It’s GIGANTIC BS!
Watch this inspiring 2 minute 09 second video and learn how the Turakhia brothers have created over a billion dollars of personal wealth through significant exits without raising any venture capital:
Capital efficient ventures
often end up creating a lot more money for entrepreneurs.
Bhavin Turakhia, CEO of Directi and
Flock, and his brother Divyank have bootstrapped Directi, a portfolio of
Internet businesses over the last ~20 years. In 2014, they had their first $160
million exit. In 2016, they had a second $900 million exit. It’s a very
interesting story of masterful business acumen and disciplined fundamentals-driven
execution. Not a penny of external financing involved, by the way.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your
personal journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what
kind of background? Bhavin Turakhia: I was born and raised in Mumbai. My
parents are originally from there. I went to school there. In many ways, the
seeds for my entrepreneurship career were largely sown there. I remember in
1989, I was in the sixth grade when the school installed their very first
computer room. I’m talking about a time when there was no Internet. There
was no Windows. It was just GWBasic and MS-DOS. It was love at first sight.
always been passionate about science, math, physics, and logical reasoning.
This was a very natural extension. Programming became my biggest passion. I
would spend several hours each day after school in the computer room. I would
just spend all my time there. My father, who in many ways deserves credit for
our success, instilled in us the value of reading a lot early on. We used to
devour tons of different books.
three to four years, I went through about 40 to 50 programming books. I would
teach the students in school advanced programming for several months. I became
really passionate about computer science back then. Since then, one of my
favorite genres is biographies. In many ways, the entrepreneurship bug also bit
me back then. In early school days, from the time I was 10, I was fairly
certain that I wanted to start my own company and that I wanted to do it in the
tech space. That’s a quick background.
Mitra: Where did you do all your college? Bhavin Turakhia: All in Mumbai. I had the goal of taking
up Computer Science. Along the way, I decided that it wasn’t for me. I went
through all the engineering curriculum and most of the stuff they were teaching,
I had already done that on my own. I had already learned all of that and gone
significantly beyond that. Then I switched from science to commerce.
and I started our first business together. We were already doing consulting and
setting up people’s networks in high school. We were enterprising and doing
small amount of business. When I started my undergraduate, I started down the
path of setting up businesses.
Mitra: What time-frame are we talking? What year did you finish high school? Bhavin Turakhia: In 1994, I finished school. From
1995 to 1996, I was in high school. Then from 1996 to 1999, I did my
undergraduate degree. My younger brother is two years younger so he was two
years behind me. Sramana Mitra: We are talking late 90’s. The Internet has
happened but in India, it’s still very nascent and very little. Bhavin Turakhia: Right after school when we were in high
school, that’s when Internet, for the first time, became commercially
available. Between 1994 to 1996, there was one ISP in the entire country. It
was a government-owned company. They would sell Internet connectivity. That was
just about the beginning. I used to have the 2,400 modems that would make funny
sounds and would get disconnected every five minutes.
here. This segment is a part in the series : Best of Bootstrapping . Bootstrapping to an Exit . Why is Bootstrapping Important? . How Can You Play this Low-Probability Game Intelligently? . Do NOT Go to VCs as Beggars - Go as Kings . Excess is NOT Required for Success . Bootstrap First and Raise Money Later . Some Bootstrapping to Exit Case Studies . The Buy Side of Bootstrapping to an Exit . Blitzscaling vs. Bootstrapping . Bootstrapping to Unicorns More »» . Cinedigm Acquires Bootstrapped 1Mby1M Company Future Today for $60 Million . Mailchimp Bootstraps to $600M Revenue . Bootstrapping from Arizona to $10 Million . Bootstrapped Basecamp Executes a No Nonsense Strategy . How Under30Experiences Bootstrapped to $5 Million . Bootstrapping with a Paycheck . How Algo.ai CEO Amjad Hussain Bootstrapped using Services from Michigan . Seed Investors Who Like Bootstrapped Businesses . How iHeartRaves CEO Bootstrapped a Niche e-Commerce Company to $20 Million . Bootstrapping with Services . How The Intern Group CEO David Lloyd Bootstrapped to $13 Million . How Passageways CEO Paroon Chadha Bootstrapped from Indiana . How SmartBuyGlasses CEO David Menning Bootstrapped to $50 Million . Death by Overfunding . How RainmakerForce CEO Mack Sundaram Bootstrapped Decisively to $5 Million+ . How FormAssembly CEO Bootstrapped a Virtual Company with a Paycheck . TimeSlips CEO Mitch Russo Bootstrapped to Exit with Sage . The VC-Entrepreneur Compensation Disbalance . BioConnect CEO Bootstraps with Sophisticated Strategic Maneuvering . Tremend CEO Marius Hanganu Bootstraps from Romania . Gesture CEO Jim Alvarez Bootstraps to $10 Million . SproutLoud CEO Bootstraps to $30 Million from Florida . Tuft & Needle CEO Bootstraps to Over $100 Million . Co-founders Bootstrap Linguamatics to Over $10M from the UK . Ownership Matters . Vainu Co-founder Mikko Honkanen Bootstraps from Finland . Entrepreneur Couple Bootstraps to $10M from Colorado . Power2Motivate CEO Bootstraps to $80M from Canada . Financial DNA CEO Bootstraps to $10M+ from Australia . Big Barker CEO Bootstraps a Niche E-commerce Brand . PrecisionLender CEO Bootstraps to Over $10M from North Carolina . Master Bootstrappers with Over $1B in Exits . Ultra Mobile Founder Bootstraps to Over $100 Million . Bootstrapping a Two-Sided Marketplace to $10M . Can You Bootstrap a Virtual Company to Over $5 Million? . Capital Efficient Entrepreneurs Turn $1M into $80M . Discussing the Journey Through Failure to Success . From a Small Town to $12 Million . Bootstrapping to Y Combinator and $10 Million Series A . Bootstrapping a Marketplace to Over $10 Million . Freightwise Bootstraps to $33 Million . Bootstraps First to $5M ARR, Raises $10M Later . Bootstraps in Europe, Raises Money and Goes Global in the US . English Major Bootstraps a Tech Company . Bootstraps with a Paycheck to $15M from Tennessee . Queue-It Bootstraps from Denmark to the US . 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Madwire CEO Bootstrapped First, Raised Money Later to $120M . Bootstrap Using Services First, Raise Money Later . Wonderful Bootstrap with a Paycheck Story . RushOrderTees CEO Bootstraps to $23M . Bootstrapping with Freemium and Free Trials to $13M . Bootstrapping, Pivoting, Gaining Liquidity, Scaling to $100M+ . Bootstrapping with Affiliate Marketing . Bootstrap to Exit, Bootstrap Again, Then Raise VC Money . Bootstrapping Using Services to $12M . Bootstrapping an Ad Tech Company from Paris . Bootstrapping a 100% Virtual Company from Ireland . MiQ CEO Bootstraps with Services from London . Bootstrapping to $8M During the Covid Crisis . Bootstrapping a Marketplace from Brazil . Bootstrapping Using Services from Sweden . What Should Startups Do To Raise Seed Capital in 2021? . EdTech Unicorn Bootstrapped First from Canada . Coalition Technologies Co-founders Bootstrap to $10M . Bootstrapping a Virtual Company to $10M from Atlanta . 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Discussing the Evolution of the Indian Startup Industry with Sasha Mirchandani, Kae Capital . Lean Company Bootstraps to $7M . Saatva Co-founder Bootstrapped a $25M E-Commerce Company . Looking at Terms with Heidi Roizen of Threshold Ventures . ADDA Co-founder CEO Bootstrapped with a Paycheck in India . Duda Co-founders Bootstrap with Paychecks . The Importance of Building Value with Shomit Ghose, Onset Ventures . Get Real Health Founder Bootstrapped Using Services . Bootstrapping Unique Vintage Using a Paycheck . Discussing E-commerce Startup Trends with Daniel Gulati, Forecast Fund . Bootstrapping a Digital Startup with a Paycheck . Discussing Seed Stages with Amir Banifatemi of K5 Ventures . Bootstrapping Avelead Using Services from Atlanta . Founder Bootstrapped a Big Data Company Using Services . Discussing Future Unicorns with Warren Weiss, Foundation Capital . Founder Bootstrapped Axosoft with a Paycheck . Raised a Series A with $10 Million in the Bank . 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Bay Dynamics Co-founders Bootstrapped Using Services . Building an AI Software Company from Dallas . RJMetrics Co-founders Bootstrapped First, Raised $22M Later . Bootstrapping Niche E-Commerce Business BuyAutoParts to Exit . TemplateMonster was Bootstrapped to $15 Million . Bootstrapping Edge Hosting to $18 Million . Bootstrapping, Fund Raising and Exiting with Sefaira . Bootstrapping IdeaScale to $5M from Scratch . Bootstrapping to $10M from Finland . Happy Grasshopper CEO Dan Stewart Bootstrapped to Inflection . Bootstrapping Gravity Pro Using Services . Founder Builds Multiple Bootstrapped Education Software Companies . Bootstrapping to $10M from Australia, Raising $25M from the US . Bootstrapped Y Soft to $30M from the Czech Republic . Bootstrapped from Belarus, Raised Money from Silicon Valley . Bootstrapped SproutLoud to $30M from Florida . Bootstrapped 2600Hz Using Services . A Serial Bootstrapping Entrepreneur’s Journey . 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