Once a techie, usually a techie. Ramesh Radhakrishnan, Partner, Artiman Ventures, an IIT alumnus who holds two patents and an entrepreneur who co-founded two startups, is currently a VC eyeing to spend money on disruptive technologies. And, like Ratan Tata, he hasn’t observed many such startups providing disruptive answers to spend money on India. Sitting in his workplace at Hulkul Centre, Bengaluru, Ramesh listens to a number of startup pitches on a each day basis; yet, not like his Silicon Valley revel in, he not often finds an concept enough to be pursued further.
“At Artiman, we are eager to invest in disruptive technologies or startups which are at the intersection of more than one markets or technology or both,” says Ramesh Radhakrishnan in a candid communication with Inc42.
Artiman Ventures is an early degree “agnostic” undertaking fund with a complete corpus of $1.1 Bn. Based in Silicon Valley and Bengaluru, the sixteen-year-vintage investment company has presently 30 startups in its portfolio while it exited from few and has written off its investments in 4-five startups. While, as far as India is worried, Artiman Ventures has funded eight startups so far. Ranging from medtech to healthcare to AI to ecommerce, Artiman Ventures’ portfolio is diverse to its core.
Artiman Ventures And The Art Of Investing
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Artiman Ventures is currently seeking to put money into whitespace startups i.E. Startups that may both disrupt the existing market and make its very own or offer a extensive platform that could discover applications throughout the verticals. Once onboard, the investment firm brings everything to attach the dots in terms of design wondering. “At Artiman, we all are marketers-grew to become-traders. Each one has undertaken an extended journey earlier than he or she became an investor. Hence, once we partner with a startup, we do percentage empathy, interest, ardour, staying power, and revel in with the founders,” says Ramesh Radhakrishnan.
The sector agnostic VC fund is focussed upon making an investment at early-stage and early-to-growth in tech startups. In India, thus far, it has invested in healthcare, precise areas of ecommerce, deeptech, defence, and meditech. For example, it has invested $four Mn (INR 25 Crore) in Series A funding in Gurugram-based totally healthcare startup medECUBE that is an ‘asset-much less’ care coordination carrier mission.”
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Artiman has additionally invested in Tonbo technology which designs, builds and deploys superior imaging and sensor structures to feel, understand and control complicated environments. The era has massive scope in military reconnaissance, gunsights/guns focused on Infrastructure and self reliant navigation.
Artiman is likewise introducing US-based startups having modern-day era to the Indian market. Seeking to make investments for the lengthy-run, it has also incubated some of these startups. Additionally, it has additionally collaborated with universities and different accelerators to live updated with the trendy technologies – technologies that might be commercialised.
“The Indian market is big however now not equipped to take in contemporary technologies. In the US and different evolved countries, a large cognizance is currently on self-self sufficient using. However, in India, it's miles extraordinarily difficult to recognition on or set up such technology because of road encroachments and legal guidelines no longer being carried out at the floor level.”
Speaking on few extra sectors which Artiman Ventures is excited about, Ramesh Radhakrishnan gives an example of agritech, which he believes is any other properly place to make investments.
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“These are the areas waiting for right sort of technologies and entrepreneurs. There is a big room to improve the performance when it comes to bloodless chain logistics, weather pattern, pricing, etc. I do agree with that lot of work could be carried out in phrases of crop optimisation and soil mechanics.”
Though absolutely inquisitive about agritech, but, he is yet to meet the proper startups. Citing the motives, he says that during India, from country to kingdom, agricultural situations change swiftly. The soil mechanics, climate evaluation, water availability the whole thing adjustments. Hence, farm to fork zone desires structures that would be implemented in these kind of circumstances.
Coming to the choice of startups Artiman Ventures seems to make investments, he introduced that there's no choice of 1 parameter over the alternative. The firm seems for every and each parameter of investments; be it, ideas, improvements or technology, their execution scale or founders’ profiles.
“At the give up of the day, our purpose is to expand Unicorns from India, for India. That is potential if we have the proper talent, proper concept and right market to move after. Then, we can see lots of success.”
In India, Artiman has plans to put money into one to 2 startups every 12 months, someplace between $four-eight Mn in each startup. Ramesh Radhakrishnan points out that this quantity is much less whilst in comparison to its investments in the Valley wherein it invests in 3-four groups yearly, exactly due to the eco-differences.
Ramesh Radhakrishnan On The Ongoing Trends In The Indian Startup Ecosystem
This 12 months, best 800 startups were founded to this point, against the 6000, remaining yr. Ramesh Radhakrishnan opines, “The Indian startup ecosystem is precisely like what the USA’ turned into in the 1970s. That became the time while the startup surroundings become nonetheless in improvement phase. Even even though there had been a variety of electronics and software program startups popping out, it took decades to build an surroundings to make sure the achievement price. So, in India too, to begin with, you may no longer see an amazing success charge currently, but, once the ecosystem is built over. Things will flip.”
“The Indian abilities are on par with Silicon Valley. Go to Google, IBM and different agencies, you will find that the top-notch AI builders are simply Indians.”
India has were given a pool of entrepreneurs, VCs to make investments; and most significantly, sufficient market to eat or buy the generation. However, “startups will must make clients eat those technology,” says Ramesh.
He further provides, “What is lacking right here, is the generation integration into packages. Therefore, except, being a developer, you need to recognize the software region too. In healthcare, for instance, there's a lack of docs, technology, and analysis apps. In reality, there are numerous greater troubles in healthcare. Can we combine these kind of nicely for the AI reason?”
Initially, among the tech startups, it changed into ecommerce which acquired the most traction and nevertheless remains the quickest developing quarter. However, 2015 onwards, ecommerce has long gone via a number of consolidation segment or corrections. “I must say, the learnings from the consolidation is phenomenal. The market behaviour is converting.”
By and huge, Indian product services are nonetheless primarily based on old schooling. “Yet, what excites me are the young entrepreneurs who want to carry alternate at a quicker pace. These younger entrepreneurs are actually bringing more fee to the market nowadays. The atmosphere is building. A lot of VCs are actually seeking out lengthy-time period strategic investments in spite of preliminary bumps. This enables cultivate the atmosphere. The go back may be visible a long time later.”
An IIT Chennai and the University of Virginia Alumnus, Ramesh labored for many companies which include HP and Adaptive Corporation before he determined to be a founding member at ZeitNet in 1994. Ramesh led an engineering team which made high-pace LAN merchandise. Later he joined which changed into acquired via Cisco Systems in 1998 for $157 Mn and because of the acquisition, Ramesh became the Director of the Wireless Access Business Unit at Cisco Systems. Thereafter, he worked with Airgo Networks (received by using Qualcomm), FireEye in numerous main capacities. In 2007, he joined Artiman, as MD, Artiman Ventures (India).
Speaking of learnings from his professional and entrepreneurial journey, Ramesh states, “Of direction, elevating money is the biggest factor that you have to do; however you may must develop the technology, construct a startup, and its marketplace first. Every startup has its journey. However, the common component amongst them is the ache and struggling.”
He similarly adds, “Right from constructing a group, to staying focused, keeping the team collectively and motivated, then retaining customers and traders happy regardless of the deliver chain or different delays; the whole lot, I have discovered from my very own experience.”
“For a startup release, market timing could be very important.”
Of direction, the Valley helped him a lot in accomplishing what he's nowadays. He opines, “The Valley presents a better ecosystem for startups to be successful. There, locating the right humans with right techniques and proper commercial enterprise opportunities is simpler. The Valley helped me to develop and examine remarkably. The standard concept amongst Valley marketers is to build a big corporation. Thus, the founders do proportion the fulfillment with absolutely everyone else in the company.”
In assessment to the Valley, “In India, it's far nonetheless a pleasant cash commercial enterprise, however you soon lose manipulate over the enterprise.”
On a concluding commentary, speakme of fixing the startups and buyers’ quandary in the existing startup environment, Ramesh Radhakrishnan points out that maximum of the Indian startups are commonly function or app-primarily based fashions. Such commercial enterprise models are clean to duplicate. The very first factor VC firm Artiman Ventures appears into is whether or not the startups have were given the competitive boundaries or no longer. Whether the idea or era is patented or now not. Secondly, the idea should permit a platform at massive, instead of offering a short-term answer. Short-time period functions are easily integratable via different present players in the subject.