Once a techie, always a techie. Ramesh Radhakrishnan, Partner, Artiman Ventures, an IIT alumnus who holds patents and an entrepreneur who co-founded two startups, is presently a VC eyeing to put money into disruptive technology. And, like Ratan Tata, he hasn’t determined many such startups providing disruptive solutions to spend money on India. Sitting in his office at Hulkul Centre, Bengaluru, Ramesh listens to a number of startup pitches on a every day basis; yet, not like his Silicon Valley revel in, he rarely finds an idea sufficient to be pursued further.
“At Artiman, we are eager to invest in disruptive technologies or startups which can be on the intersection of multiple markets or technologies or both,” says Ramesh Radhakrishnan in a candid communication with Inc42.
Artiman Ventures is an early stage “agnostic” task fund with a complete corpus of $1.1 Bn. Based in Silicon Valley and Bengaluru, the sixteen-12 months-antique funding company has currently 30 startups in its portfolio at the same time as it exited from few and has written off its investments in four-5 startups. While, as some distance as India is worried, Artiman Ventures has funded 8 startups to date. Ranging from medtech to healthcare to AI to ecommerce, Artiman Ventures’ portfolio is numerous to its middle.
Artiman Ventures And The Art Of Investing
Artiman Ventures is presently looking to put money into whitespace startups i.E. Startups that may both disrupt the existing marketplace and make its personal or offer a extensive platform that could find applications across the verticals. Once onboard, the investment firm brings everything to connect the dots in phrases of design questioning. “At Artiman, we all are marketers-became-buyers. Each one has undertaken an extended journey before he or she became an investor. Hence, once we accomplice with a startup, we do proportion empathy, curiosity, ardour, endurance, and experience with the founders,” says Ramesh Radhakrishnan.
The quarter agnostic VC fund is focussed upon investing at early-degree and early-to-boom in tech startups. In India, to this point, it has invested in healthcare, unique regions of ecommerce, deeptech, defence, and meditech. For instance, it has invested $four Mn (INR 25 Crore) in Series A investment in Gurugram-based healthcare startup medECUBE that is an ‘asset-much less’ care coordination provider venture.”
Artiman has additionally invested in Tonbo technologies which designs, builds and deploys advanced imaging and sensor systems to feel, apprehend and manage complex environments. The era has large scope in military reconnaissance, gunsights/guns focused on Infrastructure and self sufficient navigation.
Artiman is likewise introducing US-primarily based startups having modern generation to the Indian market. Seeking to invest for the long-run, it has additionally incubated a number of those startups. Additionally, it has also collaborated with universities and different accelerators to stay updated with the today's technologies – technology that might be commercialised.
“The Indian marketplace is huge but not prepared to take in cutting-edge technologies. In america and other advanced countries, a big cognizance is currently on self-self sufficient driving. However, in India, it's miles extraordinarily tough to awareness on or install such technologies because of street encroachments and legal guidelines now not being applied at the floor degree.”
Speaking on few greater sectors which Artiman Ventures is enthusiastic about, Ramesh Radhakrishnan gives an instance of agritech, which he believes is another suitable area to make investments.
“These are the regions anticipating right form of technology and entrepreneurs. There is a massive room to enhance the efficiency in relation to cold chain logistics, weather sample, pricing, etc. I do agree with that lot of labor may be executed in phrases of crop optimisation and soil mechanics.”
Though really interested in agritech, but, he is yet to meet the proper startups. Citing the motives, he says that in India, from nation to state, agricultural circumstances exchange hastily. The soil mechanics, weather evaluation, water availability the entirety changes. Hence, farm to fork zone desires platforms that could be applied in these kind of instances.
Coming to the selection of startups Artiman Ventures seems to invest, he brought that there is no desire of 1 parameter over the alternative. The firm seems for every and each parameter of investments; be it, thoughts, improvements or technologies, their execution scale or founders’ profiles.
“At the give up of the day, our goal is to increase Unicorns from India, for India. That is potential if we have the proper talent, right concept and proper marketplace to go after. Then, we will see lots of fulfillment.”
In India, Artiman has plans to invest in one to two startups every year, somewhere between $4-eight Mn in every startup. Ramesh Radhakrishnan points out that this wide variety is much less whilst in comparison to its investments within the Valley where it invests in three-4 companies annually, precisely because of the eco-variations.
Ramesh Radhakrishnan On The Ongoing Trends In The Indian Startup Ecosystem
This 12 months, most effective 800 startups were based to date, in opposition to the 6000, last yr. Ramesh Radhakrishnan opines, “The Indian startup atmosphere is precisely like what the USA’ became inside the Seventies. That become the time while the startup environment was still in development phase. Even although there were numerous electronics and software program startups coming out, it took a long time to build an environment to make sure the fulfillment charge. So, in India too, to begin with, you could no longer see an amazing achievement rate currently, however, as soon as the atmosphere is constructed over. Things will turn.”
“The Indian skills are on par with Silicon Valley. Go to Google, IBM and different businesses, you will find that the top-notch AI builders are actually Indians.”
India has were given a pool of marketers, VCs to make investments; and most significantly, sufficient market to devour or buy the era. However, “startups will should make purchasers eat the ones technology,” says Ramesh.He similarly adds, “What is lacking right here, is the generation integration into programs. Therefore, besides, being a developer, you need to recognise the application region too. In healthcare, as an instance, there may be a loss of doctors, technology, and analysis apps. In truth, there are numerous extra troubles in healthcare. Can we combine these kinds of properly for the AI motive?”
Initially, some of the tech startups, it turned into ecommerce which acquired the most traction and still remains the fastest developing quarter. However, 2015 onwards, ecommerce has long past through a lot of consolidation phase or corrections. “I have to say, the learnings from the consolidation is exceptional. The market behaviour is changing.”
By and massive, Indian product services are nevertheless based on old training. “Yet, what excites me are the young marketers who need to convey change at a quicker pace. These young entrepreneurs are now bringing more price to the market nowadays. The environment is constructing. A lot of VCs are now looking for lengthy-term strategic investments in spite of preliminary bumps. This facilitates cultivate the atmosphere. The return could be visible a long time later.”
An IIT Chennai and the University of Virginia Alumnus, Ramesh labored for lots businesses along with HP and Adaptive Corporation earlier than he determined to be a founding member at ZeitNet in 1994. Ramesh led an engineering crew which made excessive-velocity LAN products. Later he joined which became obtained via Cisco Systems in 1998 for $157 Mn and as a result of the acquisition, Ramesh became the Director of the Wireless Access Business Unit at Cisco Systems. Thereafter, he worked with Airgo Networks (acquired with the aid of Qualcomm), FireEye in numerous leading capacities. In 2007, he joined Artiman, as MD, Artiman Ventures (India).
Speaking of learnings from his expert and entrepreneurial journey, Ramesh states, “Of direction, elevating money is the most important thing that you have to do; however you may ought to broaden the generation, construct a startup, and its marketplace first. Every startup has its journey. However, the commonplace component among them is the ache and struggling.”
He in addition adds, “Right from constructing a team, to staying focused, maintaining the crew together and influenced, then keeping clients and buyers satisfied regardless of the supply chain or other delays; the entirety, I even have learned from my own experience.”
“For a startup release, marketplace timing may be very important.”
Of course, the Valley helped him lots in reaching what he's nowadays. He opines, “The Valley affords a better surroundings for startups to succeed. There, locating the right human beings with right strategies and right business opportunities is less difficult. The Valley helped me to develop and examine remarkably. The general idea amongst Valley entrepreneurs is to build a huge corporation. Thus, the founders do percentage the success with all and sundry else inside the business enterprise.”
In contrast to the Valley, “In India, it's miles still a nice coins enterprise, however you quickly lose control over the corporation.”
On a concluding remark, talking of fixing the startups and buyers’ quandary in the present startup environment, Ramesh Radhakrishnan factors out that maximum of the Indian startups are generally feature or app-primarily based models. Such commercial enterprise fashions are easy to duplicate. The first actual component VC firm Artiman Ventures looks into is whether or not the startups have got the competitive limitations or not. Whether the concept or technology is patented or no longer. Secondly, the idea ought to allow a platform at massive, as opposed to imparting a brief-term answer. Short-term capabilities are easily integratable via different existing players in the subject.