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Satayu Basu

Satayu Basu is the Co-founder/CEO of Zolo — a startup that is helping freelancers to setup their business online.

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Frustrated Founder Finds a Unique Way to Fund His Startup in This Slow Down

If you honestly believe you’re building the next big thing and tired of looking for funds — this could be a really easy way to get the funding at a much shorter notice than trying to accomplish it yourself.

Hi Guys,

My name is Satayu Basu, Co-founder/CEO of Zolo — a startup that is helping freelancers to setup their business online. Like you, I too am continuously meeting and talking to investors to raise more funds for my company.

I’ve met and spoken to more investors in the last one month than ever before, here are their common takeaways, VCs are a little reluctant and not as hungry as they were in 2015 — mainly because of all the news in the media of a slow down. Here are three common ways VCs will turn you down..

  1. We’re looking into it and would let you let you know in a few days
  2. We would not like to lead the round, if anyone is leading or putting up the 50–60% of the funds — we would be happy to come in.
  3. Or, this is not a stage we’re investing at..

Even though we’ve already raised a decent seed round and currently in talks to raise a Series A or Pre-series A. The market seem to be slowed down a bit or atleast that’s the perception. One very intelligent man once told me ‘Perception is reality’ , so yes, VCs like other people are too effected by this mass consensus , making them extra diligent about their investments. Well, I don’t need to tell you all that — the tech blogs are doing an amazing job about sharing that love around everyday forcing us to believe there’s a big slow down.

Before I tell you more about this opportunity, let me take a quick moment to share my thoughts on the slow down…

There is no real slow down as such — there’s ample of money in the market for you to step up and collect. So why this hoopla about slow-down — which is scaring off the VCs.

Here’s what I’ve observed, 2015 was a grand year for startups in India with all types of funding records being broken across the Seed, Series A and venture rounds. Roughly $9+ Billion was invested in 2015 alone, 50% of the total deal value of the last 5 years put together (Exhibit A) Now compared to a record breaking year like 2015, 2016 is a slower year.. a more realistic year so to speak. But if you notice carefully, there is still steady overall growth in the last decade year or year roughly 20% in number of deals and value — so the slow down only seems like one compared to 2015.

In fact, with Azim Premji, Shiv Nadar, Ratan Tata, Ambani, ONGC & SIDBI and other business houses committing an additional $2 Billion to the eco-system is only a testimony to the growing demand for good startups in India. I’ve personally witnessed tremendous investor interest from China, Japan, Europe, Middle east and of-course US.

Also, I’ve made an excel using numbers of Crunchbase Daily for global trends (will share soon), which does go on to show a slight slow down — but nothing as alarming. Anyhoo — slowdown or no slow down, the VCs are buying into it — so here’s a creative way I’ve decided to change the game a bit, so that not only me — but a few other startups can get funded along with me!

This is how I’m going to help 20 other Startups get funding along with mine in the next couple of weeks.

My plan:

Along with my own startup, I’m shortlisting a list of 20–30 Super Hot startups and combining them as a single investment opportunity for a large VC to engage in. My theory is simple, by reverse-syndicating a string of SUPER High quality deals together — we make it a much better investment opportunity for the VC to invest in as opposed to looking into one solitary deal at a time.

I’m going to shortlist 20–30 valuable startups with a total requirement of say $30–40 mn and offer it to a handpicked set of pre-eminent VCs as a Take-it-or-Leave-it deal. With my existing connections and ongoing meetings lined up, I strongly believe such an opportunity will be much readily funded than an individual company standing on it’s own.

Why VCs & big funds will jump on this opportunity?

Firstly, it’s an opportunity for the VC to invest a significant sum at one go, one decision and they can engage a much bigger amount across a diversified set of high-potential opportunities. We already do all the leg work for reviewing, shortlisting, due diligence and making one or two set of deals that makes most synergistic sense for a multi-stage fund to engage in. As a take-it-or-leave-it deal, we only show it to a handful of the top VCs in India & Europe we’ve some personal connection with and sell the entire package as one deal — so we all get funded together! The chosen VC gets an amazing deal!


If you honestly believe you’re building the next big thing and tired of looking for funds — this could be a really easy way to get the funding at a much shorter notice than trying to accomplish it yourself.

Here’s how you can take part in it, send me your deck, traction details, exact requirement & valuation for us to evaluate and get back to you.

The criteria:

  1. You should be seed funded or bootstrapped
  2. At least more than 6 months old
  3. Have some form of traction, technology built out or some solid proof of concept
  4. Large enough addressable market
  5. Your the BEST valuation & Offer (to close quickly)
  6. It should be Seed, Pre-Series A or Series A not Series B and beyond
  7. Looking for $100K — $5 Million

Mail me your startup details at basu@imzolo.com

Send anything and everything that you think would help us make an informed decision about your startup quickly.

  1. Elevator pitch
  2. Your deck
  3. Traction in numbers
  4. Burn rate
  5. Funding status
  6. How much looking for at what valuation

You may also send the following;

  1. Business case, plan or a brief
  2. Plan of action, fund capitalisation
  3. Industry reports
  4. Case studies
  5. App links & Demos
  6. Team profiles

email : basu@imzolo.com

Disclaimer: Only send data that you’re comfortable with to share with us, the data will be shared within my team mates and some analyst friends of mine from VC firms for preliminary short listing. We’re not going to sign any NDA as this stage, once your startup is shortlisted — you’ll be informed and/or asked for more details before being presented to the potential VCs we have in mind.

What do I get out of it:

Quite frankly, as much as I like talking to investors and pitching my startup — I’m kind of tired of it. Why would you want to conduct so many meetings and waste time when it could be better utilised to grow your company. I’ve not decided yet, how I’m going to monetise my effort — but it will be of great personal satisfaction to help a bunch of founders like me to get funded along with my own startup being funded.

Beyond which, if there could be an arrangement to make some money — maybe yes, but that’s not my lookout at this point. Right now, my only goal is to find 20–25 star startups backed by world class technology and teams.

Mail me your details at: basu@imzolo.com

Feel free to ask your questions.

Hi VCs, you can contact me to learn more about this opportunity.

Talk soon,

Basu

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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