‘We Will Help Entrepreneurs Turn Ideas into Unicorns’ Says Anjli Jain, Managing Partner, EVC
"Our current focus is on ideas around PaaS, SaaS, Mobile, AI, IDaaS, Messaging, Collaboration and Content Platforms that have applications in the education sector and to a global market, starting with North America."
Anjli Jain is the Managing Partner at EVC Ventures, a $50 million fund focused exclusively on early stage investments in Ad Tech, E-Commerce, Gaming, Education, Mobile Apps, Enterprise Software, Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT). EVC also operates EVC Accelerators in the United States and India where it provides capital and mentorship to help entrepreneurs turn ideas into unicorns.
Born in India and raised in the United States, Anjli attended the prestigious Horace Mann School in New York City and later received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Columbia University in the City of New York. She supports organizations such as - Inspiration Corporation (Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, employment training and placement, and housing) and Chicago Foundation for Women (which works to raise money to fund and support organizations that help women and girls).
In an interaction with BW Disrupt, Anjli Jain, Managing Partner at EVC shared her entrepreneur journey and future plans of EVC Ventures.
How has your journey been with EVC Ventures so far?
I find the journey exhilarating and feel that it’s given me a unique perspective. Having started as an entrepreneur, I find it gratifying to invest not just monetary capital but more importantly my time, passion, experiences and lessons learned with the CEOs-in-training that lead our startups. Seeing our entrepreneurs mature, grow and make better and more informed decisions with our guidance is a rewarding experience.
EVC Ventures has raised $50M fund in April 2016. In how many startups EVC has invested so far and in which sectors are you planning to invest more?
We have made a total of ten investments with committed follow on rounds. Our current focus is on ideas around PaaS, SaaS, Mobile, AI, IDaaS, Messaging, Collaboration and Content Platforms that have applications in the education sector and to a global market, starting with North America.
In how many startups you want to invest this year? What will be the investment range?
Generally, our process is centered around conceiving ideas, identifying motivated, high-energy talent, building a leadership team and investing in their success – taking them from zero to a company with a problem to solve, product, pricing, revenue, clients and breakeven. On that basis, it’s not about how many startups we want to invest in. It’s about how many ideas we want to launch and which people we want to invest in to take the idea to the next level. Our initial investment range varies from $150,000 to a few million.
Apart from funding, how are you helping Indian startup ecosystem?
At EVC, our formula for success is funding plus where “plus” is providing business planning; all back-office services including finance, legal, HR, talent acquisition, facility management; and most importantly hands-on guidance from successful entrepreneurs. The “plus” is critical for any startup, especially for entrepreneurs out of India.
In addition to this, we have partnered with the government of India to launch and fund the I-MADE program - an initiative dedicated to helping students across all 35,000 higher education institutions launch 1 million apps and as many startups.
How do you look at the expansion?
I have a positive outlook of the startup ecosystem in India. I believe we are grooming the “next wave” of entrepreneurs and startups.
What goals have you decided for EVC Ventures for the coming 5 years?
This goal was clear since day 1 – We will help entrepreneurs turn ideas into unicorns.
What qualities you look before making investment in startups?
In a startup: 1) Are you solving a real, big problem or disrupting a market 2) Can you execute the game plan? And in an entrepreneur: 1) Communication skills 2) Accountability and 3) Creativity
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