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Dec 01, 2022
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Venture Investment is about investing in and partnering with the right team and company, helping them scale to their next set of milestones.

-Radhesh Kanumury, Founder & Managing Partner, Suvan Ventures

Team 100X interviewed some of the top investors across the globe about their venture investing journey, the startup ecosystem, and India as a nation. Here, Radhesh Kanumury, Founder and Managing partner, Suvan Ventures shares his responses.

 

Q1. What is your motivation to be in the venture investing business

The immense joy of working with passionate entrepreneurs and contributing to their success.

 

Q2. What is your view on the future of India as a market?

I can talk about the immense potential of Indian SaaS companies since that is an area I have been working on for the last 8 years. Below are the projections from some of the top-tier consulting companies on Indian SaaS companies.

As per Bain and Company: Indian Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies are poised to reach $30 billion in revenue, capturing an 8% to 9% share of the global SaaS market by 2025, according to a new report by Bain & Company.

India’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry has the potential to be valued at $1 trillion and employ 500,000 people by 2030, rivaling the country’s large IT services industry, according to a report by SaaSBoomi and Mckinsey.

The Indian SaaS market is expected to account for almost 7 to 10% of the global SaaS market, from 2-4% at present, according to EY-CII Research Report.

Currently, there are 18 Unicorns in this space with many soonicorns and multiple acquisitions.  

 

Q3. Help describe your investment thesis and ideas you would like to back.

Suvan Ventures will invest inearly-stage B2B Indian cross-border SaaS companies (those which sell into global markets like the US and Europe but have development/ customer success/ marketing teams in India). 

Suvan Ventures will be investing in -

-Horizontal areas like AI, Machine learning, IoT, Blockchain, Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality, Cloud Infrastructure, DevOps, etc.

-Vertical Industry areas like Healthcare, Enterprise 4.0, Retail, Fintech, Mobility, etc.

-And in business areas like Supply chain, Future of works, Legal, Sales, Marketing, etc.

The investment will be in early-stage companies.

 

Q4. What are your 5 key learnings from your experience as a venture investor.

  1. Venture Investment is about investing in and partnering with the right team and company, helping them scale to their next set of milestones.
  2. Each company has its unique challenges and the ability to provide the right mentoring based on their needs goes a long way.
  3. B2B India US cross-border companies in their early stage typically go through a few iterations of their GTM playbook before they get it right. With the right guidance, the number of iterations and the time spent on each can be reduced.
  4. B2B companies can do a very effective job in branding and marketing their products without spending heavily.
  5. The first few sales in the US need to be led by the founders before passing on the sales playbook to their professional selling team.

 

Q5. Top 5 pieces of advice you would give to a startup founder.

My advice for B2B entrepreneurs is below.

  1. Focus on the problem you are solving for enterprises. If the problem is large enough and painful enough that enterprises must seek a solution urgently,  then evaluate the Total Addressable Market and Serviceable Addressable Market. If the numbers look good, proceed.
  2. Focus on creating differentiation in the current competitive landscape. There are many ways one can differentiate, such as through product features, focusing on customer segments that are underserved, pricing, distribution, etc. Create an unfair advantage for yourself and competitive barriers to entry.
  3. Try to get paying customers, early in your product life cycle. While developing the product, see if it would be possible to get a  couple of prospective customers as design partners.
  4. Try getting to the right GTM playbook as early as possible in your company lifecycle. 
  5. To increase your probability of success, partner with the right mentor/ advisors and investors. 

 

Q6. How do you support your portfolio companies?

The challenges for SaaS companies are unique. Early in their journey, they need help in getting the right product-market fit and GTM strategy in place. Later on, they need help with marketing, channels, partnerships, and future financing. Suvan Ventures will provide portfolio companies with hands-on mentoring across their whole life cycle, not just from the Suvan Ventures team but also from a diverse group of experienced professionals in India and the US. The founders can consider Suvan Ventures to be an extension of their own team with whom they can freely brainstorm strategy and execution.

Besides that, Suvan Ventures has an extensive network of Investment Partners, System Integrators, Successful Entrepreneurs, and Companies who will continually explore synergies with its portfolio companies.  

 

Q7. When you started your career what were your ambitions

I started my career in the Blast furnace division of a steel manufacturing company way back in 1994. At that, I knew that the next revolution across the globe would be through Information technology and the Internet. I yearned to be in that space. After putting in the immense effort, I succeeded in becoming a Software Architect at IBM, designing solutions for  Enterprises, ISVs, and System Integrators.

I created many first-of-its-kind solutions in areas like  Application Integration, Application Server, Database, Portals, Content Management, BI, Security, IoT, andInfrastructure Management.

I strongly believed the next wave of global companies from India will emergein theB2B space. Hence, I transitioned into the Venture Capital space, where specialized funds like Suvan Ventures can play an important role in the journey of Indian B2B cross-border companies.

 

Q8. What inspires you in life?

My end goal is to contribute something substantial to society. I have a vision of being an enabler to create model villages in underserved areas. The model villages will have education, employment, and primary healthcare for everyone. The villages will have large tree covers in and around the surrounding areas with the ability to generate surplus energy through renewable means.

 

Q9.If you have interacted with100X.VC, please share a few good words about us.

I know Sanjay Mehta for close to 8 years now. Sanjay has been investing for many years and is amongst the Top angel investors in the country. He has some great exits as an Angel Investor. It is wonderful to see Sanjay and his team Shashank and Yagnesh, bringing that wisdom and knowledge in 100x.VC. I interacted with a few companies of 100X.VC and I enjoyed it.

 

About Radhesh Kanumury:

Radhesh is the Founder and Managing Partner of Suvan Ventures, which is a new venture fund focused on early-stage B2B Indian cross-border SaaS companies. Besides investment Radhesh mentors his portfolio startups in various aspects of their businesses such as product, product-market fit, GTM, channels strategy, branding, uprounds etc.

Before Suvan Ventures, he co-created Arka Venture Labs along with 3 Anchor investors in 2018 August with the objective of investing, mentoring, and providing connections to the ecosystem for B2B startups between India and US corridor. The fund has made 27  investments under his leadership with 5 exits and 12 uprounds (from the likes of B Capital, Nexus, Lightspeed, Matrix, Uncorrelated, Samsung Next, Facebook). Two more companies are expecting their uprounds in the coming weeks.

Prior to Arka Venture Labs, Radhesh had a 18 year long stint in IBM with  strong technical, sales, and business development experience in various divisions of IBM. He has helped many B2B startups scale in their journey by mentoring them and facilitating access to funds and customers. He conceptualized IBM India`s Startup challenge called IBM India Smartcamp and successfully executed the same. Personally led the curation and selection of the Startups for the finals, many of whom got funding either for the first time or for their subsequent rounds. Some of the startups that were initially identified by Radhesh and scaled very well include Whatfix, Hasura, Medikabazaar, Vymo, SirionLabs, Loginext, Talview, Signzy, Emotix, Getmyparking, Sigtuple with a number of these reaching Soonicorn status. Radhesh also worked with Large Enterprises in assisting them in identifying next-generation innovations through joint Hackathons and Startup challenges.

Prior to this role in IBM he was working as a Software Architect where he was designing Software solutions for Enterprise Clients, ISVs and System Integrators. Created many first of its kind solutions in areas of Application integration, Application Server, Database, Portal, Content Management, Business Intelligence, Security, IoT, Infrastructure Management, Application monitoring and led several key sales wins for IBM.

He is into meditation, Yoga and Social service. He is learning Vocal music.

 

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