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An Israeli VC On How Hot Indian Startups Are

Jonathan Medved is a serial entrepreneur and according to the Washington Post, “One of Israel’s leading high tech venture capitalists.”


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The NY Times Supplement, “Israel at 60”, named Medved as one of the “Top 10 most influential Americans who have impacted Israel” and he was also named as one of the “50 most influential Jews” by Jerusalem Post.

Medved is currently the founder and CEO of OurCrowd, the leading global equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors and angels.

OurCrowd is “One of the largest crowdfunding organizations on the planet,” according to Forbes, having raised over 300 million dollars for over 100 portfolio companies since its launch in February 2013. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, “OurCrowd is hands down the most successful equity-crowdfunding platform in the world.”

The team from LetsVenture, the largest online platform for angel investing in India, sat down with Jon for a quick chat when he was in Bangalore in December 2016.

What are your top 3 observations from the Indian startup ecosystem?

1. India is definitely one of the top 3 startup scenes in the world. The passion, the skill sets and the focus Indian startup founders have are simply amazing.

2. I’ve noticed that Indian startups are usually focused on an India-first model. I hope to see more willingness from Indian entrepreneurs to think bigger and look at a global market.

3. From my time here and the data I’ve run through, I am surprised by how little overseas investors are involved in the Indian startup ecosystem…India is hot and everyone should want a piece of it.

Israel has a thriving culture of innovation. The country has seen several billion dollar exits. Entrepreneurship is booming in India but we are yet to see those big exits. What is your advice to entrepreneurs and investors in India?

Big exits will happen here too, it’s just a matter of time. I’ve learnt that India is looking to transform to a product nation. Sharad Sharma said “We want to be for SaaS what Israel is for security” and I don’t see why not. But, it is important for the ecosystem to adopt that attitude and that mindset.

I’m not talking about changing basic models, I’m talking about investing your startup energy into building world-changing products that a global market can take on.

As I mentioned earlier tapping into the global market is essential for the Indian ecosystem to grow and move to the next level.

Given that the Indian angel ecosystem is still quite young, how should angel investors in India approach startups to get better returns on investment?

I would give primary importance to understanding angel investment. Investors across the board need to get up to speed on angel investing; how it works and what it means. There is a lot that goes into identifying what to look for in a startup, how to get involved with one and how to grow a company. Put in the time, learn from experiences of other investors.

I’ve learnt that while it is impossible to avoid the learning curve that comes with picking up a new skillset, there is no reason to repeat old mistakes.

This interview is an abridged version from LetsVenture.

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