<aside> 🚨 I am now a full time venture investor. I spend 100% of my time investing out of a venture firm I founded called Inuka Capital. Inuka Capital is a pre-seed and seed focused firm that partners with founders in India that rely on product-led growth and product mechanics to build competitive advantage.
With very few and rare exceptions, 100% of my “on thesis” investment activity is now routed through my fund, and it is likely safe to assume that I am no longer writing personal angel checks. That said, if you’re a founder and think that I can support you, feel free to reach out to me by email and we can take things from there.
That said, I have received feedback from many founders that this page has been useful so I am leaving it active.
👋, I'm Gautam. I'm currently a Partner at On Deck, leading our investing, business and expansion activities APAC + India. Here's more about why I joined On Deck. Before On Deck, I was at Skillshare, helping drive international (ex-US) product & growth, and prior to Skillshare, I was Quora's first international hire, and worked there for ~3 years. Before that, I was the Founder & CEO of AudioCompass, a company that I built for 6 years. You can learn more about my professional background here. Before On Deck, I was by no means a “professional” investor, but I do spend a disproportionate amount of time speaking, working with, and often investing in early stage founders and teams.
I consider myself an operator-angel. Founders enjoy working with me because I'm brutally honest, ask difficult questions and offer sincere advice, and am always willing to give them the time to think through (and sometimes execute) whatever they're struggling with
I started angel investing in 2010, and took a break from 2014-2017. From my initial cohort of investments, Exotel, Hotelogix, Navya Network, and Bevi are worth highlighting. I started investing again in 2018, mostly via syndicates (Yulu, nPlex, Arpeggio Biosciences, SwayPay, Blue Tokai), but have largely moved to investing directly in founders, in companies like Animall, OSlash, Equi, ION Energy, On Deck, AbstractOps, Airtribe, Fincent, and Glip. I invest in companies to support founders that have a vision of a future that I buy into. From my 2010-2014 cohort, I have 2 exits that more than returned the invested amount, and 2 more companies that will hopefully 🤞 get me to 8-10x of total invested capital for that 'fund'. There are winners emerging from the 2018+ cohort, but it's too early to tell. There have already been several shutdowns since 2018.
I generally invest in companies where:
I get most excited about investing in companies where I can help the founder with thinking through product, go-to-market and growth. I also love to invest in companies where I can learn to apply my skills to a new industry or space!
In general, I tend to invest $5k - $10k ($100k if the founder allows me to syndicate the deal). In other words, I am not invited to invest because of my cheque size, but rather, because I'm an operator. Here are how some founders (from my portfolio and companies that I have not invested in) have described me: