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1Mby1M Virtual Accelerator Investor Forum: With Sandeep Sardana, Founder and General Partner at BluePointe Ventures (Part 2)

Posted on Wednesday, Nov 24th 2021

Sramana Mitra: I’ll tell you what we do at 1Mby1M. We do bottom-up TAM analysis, which means we have to get the business model and pricing model hypothesis. When you’re starting out and raising money, that financial hypothesis is really important to get right. We emphasize a few specific elements. One is the business model. Two is the pricing model. Three is the bottom-up TAM analysis. Does that cover what you’re looking for in financial storytelling?

Sandeep Sardana: I couldn’t have said it any better.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s talk about geography. Is it just Silicon Valley?

Sandeep Sardana: There was a time when we were focusing on everywhere. In fund one, we invested mostly in Silicon Valley, but we also invested in New York, India, and Estonia. It’s been mostly Bay Area, but we’re starting to look out again. In fact, I’m taking a trip out to UAE to check out a few interesting investments. As a company is starting to realize that they can register themselves in Delaware and make it friendlier for investors, it makes it a lot easier for us. The other piece on why in US has to do with tax efficiencies because of QSBS.

Sramana Mitra: In the India-US corridor, there are two classes of companies. There are global B2B companies that do the Delaware company and raise money in the US. There are major VCs playing in India as well. The ones that are going after India domestic market don’t do that.

Sandeep Sardana: There are businesses over there that are not going to need to register here. We tried to invest in a company called Grow that was a YC graduate and registered in Delaware.

Sramana Mitra: Do you invest in companies that have a market strategy that is not completely North America?

Sandeep Sardana Nowadays, yes.

Sramana Mitra: We are seeing a lot of that. We have some interesting companies. We have one India company that is really interesting. We have a company in Tanzania that is really interesting.

Sandeep Sardana: There is a question of governance. India is a bit easier to think about. Outside of India, UAE is directly in our path. Singapore maybe. Africa is starting to emerge as a phenomenal place to invest. I’m not sure if we’re going to make an investment soon, but we are looking.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s talk about some of your portfolio companies. What have you invested in that you’re particularly proud of or find really fascinating? Tell us the journey. When did they come to you? How did they come to you? Why did you write the check?

Sandeep Sardana: We’re very proud of the sourcing mechanisms we’ve created. We have sourced our deals through a number of mechanisms. To tell you an example, one is Tekion which is started by the ex-CIO of Tesla Motors. We run these panel events. We’re very interested in running CIO panel events. The founder of Tekion was invited to one of those.

When he was starting his company, we were jazzed about him as a founder. That’s what we generally focus on – quality of the founder. He had a phenomenal team, great vision, and proven execution inside Tesla. We followed that story. We’re so glad that we made an investment. We invested in the seed round as one of the first checks in. That was invested at a $10 million prevaluation.

There’s this other company called Dentira that we incubated in our office. We hatched this idea of creating a marketplace for dental supplies and leveraged our network to help the entrepreneur get this thing going. On very little capital, they’ve built a large business.

This segment is part 2 in the series : 1Mby1M Virtual Accelerator Investor Forum: With Sandeep Sardana, Founder and General Partner at BluePointe Ventures
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