Last week, Facebook announced a $5.7b investment for a 9.9% stake in Jio Platforms (an entity which owns Jio’s mobile service, the broadband internet service and a slew of apps and products, the largest being the JioSaavn music app). Context: Jio is India’s largest mobile telco with 388m subscribers; it reached market dominance in the short span of 3+ years and has reshaped the Indian digital sphere with its superlow …
COVID-19 as a forcing function
I attended a virtual edtech summit recently; an online version of a global summit that happens in the U.S. this time every year, but had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.
One of the panels had edtech ‘startup’ founders and CXOs. Of course, these were all well-funded global startups. And they were having the best growth periods of their existence.
- The CEO of Proctorio, an online proctoring firm was at
Podcast highlights: Gavin Baker on ‘Invest Like the Best’ (April, 2020)
Patrick O’Shaughnessy runs the popular Invest Like the Best podcast. A recent episode had Gavin Baker, founder & CIO of Atreides Management LLP, a growth PE investor specializing in tech and consumer plays, as guest. Both Patrick and Gavin are wellknown on investing twitter and run their own investing shops too.
The podcast was titled ‘Investing Through a Bear Market’ and covered how Gavin views investing in a fast-dropping market …
Singular, social and streamed. Welcome to a post-Covid world!
This article was first published in the Sunday Times of India, 22nd March, 2020.
I work in an early stage venture fund. As the Covid-19 crisis took hold, we reached out to our portfolio to check on how the virus was impacting them. We saw an interesting pattern emerge. Naturally, purely digital businesses, the ones that move ‘bits’ around, were doing well, such as edtech or content plays. But …
What is the Superhuman of Calendars?
Thoughts on productivity tools, and about rethinking them for better outcomes.
If you end up subscribing to the Superhuman email service, you are clearly in the subset of busy people with a lot of emails. One thing busy people have apart from emails is meetings, and to dos. Tonnes of them. So inevitably you think of, what is the superhuman equivalent for to do lists? Or calendars? And that is …
Postcards from the future
I often tell friends that the single best thing about working in early stage investing is the number of startup decks you get to see daily, each describing a specific vision of the future. People eating meal replacements or renting clothes instead of buying, printing a toy than ordering one, and so on. These ‘postcards from the future’ are not always right. Well, they all clearly can’t be. But that …
Some more recent writings
Links to recent writings of mine. As usual, they happen on LinkedIn or other publications. My website seems to have become an archives list. That wasn’t the original plan when I started this website nearly a decade ago, though. Sigh!
- I wrote for online publisher Scroll about how Hindi is gradually but inevitably emerging as the Lingua Franca of South India. Shudder!
- Why Blume invested in Classplus?
Reflections on one year in venture capital
1. Joining Blume Ventures
One morning in October 2017, and I forget the exact date now, I came back from my crossfit workout to see a series of whatsapp messages from Karthik Reddy. Karthik, briefly an ex-boss of mine at The Times of India Group, had gone on to cofound Blume Ventures, a seed fund, which had evolved to emerge as a much-loved and well-regarded player in the Indian startup …
Some recent writings
I haven’t been updating this website as frequently as I have hoped to. But those who follow me on twitter or linkedin, would know that I have been writing regularly, with all of it being published on other websites or publishing platforms.
Here are links to some recent writings of mine, in order of recency.
- Reflections on one year in venture capital – I completed a year at Blume Ventures,
An article on the challenges of finding product-market fit in India
I wrote a post, well over a couple of months back (mid-Feb), on the challenges of becoming a universal app or product in India. The nature of the Indian market meant few startups would attain product-market fit (PMF) across the country. Increasingly, startups would strive to attain PMF in India1 Alpha, India1 or India2.
The article also covered a broad approach to move across different layers of the stack, especially …