VC of the Month – Sanjot Malhi

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As we all know Venture Capital or VC is a kind of private equity that is usually provided by several firms to small, early-stage, and esteemed firms. V firms normally invest in companies that have high growth potential, or some that have shown a considerable amount of growth. Usually, a typical venture capital investment occurs after an initial ‘seed funding’ round.

While Exhibit recently hosted its 6th edition of its startup event ‘Exhibit 501 Startups’, we are still afresh with the memories. We had some valiant startups competing amid potential VCs. This section is essentially talking about VCs. As they are the mascots to our beloved startups.

Team Exhibit is introducing its new section, exclusively designed called ‘VC of the month’, where we would feature top VCs every month. So, here’s bringing you a snippet into a much established VC’s life, straight from the horses’ mouth.

This month it is Sanjot Malhi, Vice President and Consumer, Media and Gaming Sectors Lead, Matrix Partners India

Name: Sanjot Malhi

Designation: Vice President

Organisation: Matrix Partners, India

Q. Matrix Partners India often makes headlines. What is the secret sauce to your success?

The secret sauce is the opportunity to partner with the best entrepreneurs in the country. Our motto is ‘founders first’ in all investments and that is the ethos we all live and make our investments by.

What is your estimated fund size like?

We manage about $1 billion across three funds in India. We are currently investing out of our third fund, which is about $300 million. Globally, we manage about $5 billion.

What kind of startups do you normally invest in?

We invest in companies at the seed, early and early growth stages. We have been fortunate to have invested in several market leading companies such as Ola, Quikr, Practo, Dailyhunt, MSwipe, and Razorpay, to name a few.

What are your most preferred genres of investing?

We are sector agnostic as a fund, investing in companies targeting the Indian consumer and enterprise market. I personally lead the Consumer, Media and Gaming sectors for the fund.

Tell us about your recent investment and the amount involved.

Specifically, in the Consumer sector, we are close to or have invested across 6 companies in the last 8-9 months alone. This varies from a ~$1M seed investment in companies like &ME, a women’s focussed health beverage brand, to leading a ~$10M round in Country Delight, a direct-to-consumer fresh foods brand.

What kind of investments have you planned in the near future?

As a fund, we are very excited about where the Indian ecosystem is today and the investment opportunity it presents across sectors. Given my focus, I am personally very excited by consumer brands, mobile gaming and new-age digital media ventures.

What do you have to say about our Indian entrepreneurs?

Any room for improvement? Having had the good fortune of meeting some of the best entrepreneurs across the world, it’s safe to say that India has equally good, if not better, entrepreneurs than any other country, including the US and China. Besides being among the smartest and hardest working, the best Indian founders really blow you away in their tenacity and resourcefulness.

Lastly, any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs?

No advice, but just some words of wisdom that I was handed down and have found useful before embarking on any entrepreneurial journey – always ask yourself ‘is this going to be your life’s work?’. An entrepreneur’s journey is fraught with massive ups and downs, and it all becomes worth it only if it is meant to be your life’s work.

Quickies:

Fund Size: $1 billion in India, $5 billion globally

Kind of startups they invest in: Seed, early and early growth stages

Prominent Startups: Ola, Quikr, Practo, Dailyhunt, MSwipe, and Razorpay

Advice to wannapreneurs: Always ask yourself ‘is this going to be your life’s work?’




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