Note: The views & opinions expressed in these essays are strictly my own, and not those of any entity I may be associated with as an employee, consultant, promoter, investor, etc.ARCHIVES
Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Teams
Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Generating Revenue
Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Raising Capital
Equities, ETFs, F&O
Oct 2011: Equity Risk Premium for India
Jun 2011: Investing in Indian equities
Technology Enterprises in India
Nov 2010: Technology investment in India - WATER
Aug 2010: Technology enterprises in India - 3 avatars
Risk Capital for MSMEs
Mar 2010: Risk mitigation for investors in MSMEs
Mar 2010: Why don't (Indian) MSMEs get risk capital?
Feb 2010: Angel investing - Will it work for Indian MSMEs?
Feb 2010: What's so special about innovative MSMEs?
Feb 2010: Where do Indian/NRI (V)HNIs invest?
Feb 2010: Funding options for innovative MSMEs in India
Jan 2010: Innovative MSMEs in India
Angels & Angel networks in India
(Last revised March-2012, Send comments to email@example.com)
Angels are high net-worth individuals (HNIs) who invest risk capital in (technology) startups. Angel networks are associations of angels that - as a group - solicit deal flow, evaluate companies, and invest in them.
In India, angels have been around for ages in the form of wealthy professionals or businessmen. However, most of them think of their investment as (unsecured) debt with limited downside. This conflicts with the equity model of venture funding, where the entire investment may be lost. Moreover, such investors lack the domain expertise and networks that their investee companies need.
Since 2006, we have seen creation of US-style formal angel networks, e.g.: Indian Angel Network, Mumbai Angels, Hyderabad Angels, Chennai Angels, Bangalore Angels, Kutchi Angel Network, Pune Angels, YourNest Angel Fund, etc. Together, these networks fund 50 - 100 startups each year in India. More importantly, they bring industry/technology expertise, high-level networks, follow-on funding, etc.
Unlike the US/UK, where the government incentivizes angels via tax credits, the GoI has (recently) burdened angel investing. Angels are required to explain the source of their funds, while startups are required to treat angel investment as income. While this is likely to be amended in view of protests from the angel networks, the government's attempts to curb black money will drag down angel investing.