Few of us have seen a pandemic as deadly as COVID-19. The global economy is going through uncertainties, risks, and unprecedented changes that are sure to turn the business standards and operations upside down. No wonder all the investors and founders are having a tough time battling this menace.
We, at 100X.VC, have tried to gather some data related to the founder’s and investor’s sentiments amid COVID-19 to get an overview of how the leaders and the people associated with the business sector are responding to this change. I, Sanjay Mehta, have discussed the same with Mr Ninad Karpe to analyze the speculations that are currently ruling the market.
Based on a survey done on a sample size of 274 investors and founders, we shall be presenting a thorough outcome to surface the fears, expectations, and strategies of the market to survive the battle with COVID-19.
To begin with, the best part is that the response has been remarkable. Plenty of investors and founders participated in this survey to make the qualitative and quantitative analysis possible for us. According to Ninad’s words, wholehearted participation has led to the generation of convincing reports focusing on the following:
The Sampling and the Report
We initially divided the sample set into two classes, the investors and the founders. They both deal with different aspects of business and are differently involved with the business outcomes as well. Our team prepared two separate sets of survey links incorporating questions specific to the investors and founders of which the initial few questions were shared as they were based on macro elements of the market. The surprising part is that the correlation between the answers received from investors and founders to these common questions was noteworthy. And, this also helped us to integrate our individual opinion to the derived opinion and present our report on firmer grounds.
We have kept the report organized and strategic by dividing it into two separate parts where we have discussed the responses of founders and investors.
1. When do you think the Indian economy will recover from the COVID-19 crisis?
As the statistic unveils, founders are not feeling depressed about the future right now. Even though COVID-19 has hit the market severely, 42% of the founders are hoping that within another 6-12 months, the business wheels will be set on pace again. At 100X.VC, we believe that hope is the best light to ward off any darkness.
2. What is the founder’s sentiment amid COVID-19?
As the data shows, 51% of the founders are feeling worried, which is not necessarily negative lateral thinking all the time. We believe that justified worries often lead to enhanced reinvention, attempts to change, and positive modifications to match the prevailing situation.
3. What are the founders most worried about?
While most of the founders are worried about the future of the business, the primary source of the worry relates to the declining revenues. We think if cash flows do not get further choked, the recovery will be on its way soon. And, the best part is, very few are thinking that the sectors are in jeopardy, which sounds positive.
4. What actions are the founders typically taking?
To survive the tidal waves, the founders are adopting a policy of salary restructuring more than layoffs as the oriental sentiments do not approve of layoffs generally. Re-negotiations are a must right now to make the best out of the available opportunities.
5. Is it an opportunity to re-look at the business?
Sectors, which have been positively impacted by this pandemic, are not thinking of a pivot at all, which they should reconsider as the post-pandemic world will never match the pre-pandemic one.
6. What are the hiring plans of the startups?
While 37% of the founders are not hiring at all, the rest have slowed down the process. Only a mere 9% are continuing with regular hiring schedules.
7. What about fundraising and founder’s take on it?
No matter how the market is responding to the crisis, fundraising has not ceased to exist. We consider this to be a positive for the market and the founders. Surely the founders are taking time to settle for a decision, but they have not taken their hands off the deals.
We have received 47% of the responses from the angel investors, who seem promising and unstoppable even during the harsh hours. Here is what the data revealed.
1. When will the economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis?
Much like the founders, the investors also believe that the market will regain its strength in another 6-12 months. (The correlation between the answers given by the founders and the investors is visible here.)
2. What are the current sentiments of the investors?
While 51% of the founders responded worried, 64% of investors responded likewise. Undoubtedly, the investors invest a lot of money, and, naturally, they would be concerned, but again, worrying is not negative all the time.
3. Why are the investors shifting their investment strategy?
This is quite a predictable one. As the business world is experiencing a paradigm shift, the investors are expected to change their investment patterns as well. We are not surprised at 100X.VC to have found the majority of the investors responding to this question in a straight yes.
4. What is the investor’s allocation for startups?
Not many of the investors are cutting their investment volume substantially on the startup firms, while 36% is not making any alteration at all. In my opinion, it is a silver lining for the industry for sure.
5. Are investors actively looking at industries positively impacted by the present crisis?
Profit is what drives the investors in the market. Hence, evitable enough, 86% of the investors are now looking for sectors that have the potential to reap the benefit of this crisis.
6. Which are the sectors for investments for the investors?
With the altered orientations, healthcare has undoubtedly emerged as one of the most critical sectors and is expected to remain so in the post-pandemic era as well. Our survey clearly shows that 89% of the investors are getting aligned to this sector perceiving its future potential.
7. What are some suggestions for founders from investors?
While the investors are suggesting that the founders must cut the costs, increase runway, and engage in market expansion sensing the potential of a market, they are also of the view that VCs should invest enough time before fundraising as the market dynamisms are changing fast.
Our team at 100X.VC suggests that keeping a steady link with the investors can be beneficial for the founders in the long run.