How 100X.VC creates ‘social proof’ for early stage startups and boosts deal flow for larger funds

In the middle of 2019, Sanjay Mehta, a angel investor with over 130 startups in his personal portfolio, launched 100X.VC to fund “100 Great Ideas” and organize a pipeline of “Fundable Businesses” for the biggest VCs.

It unveiled its first cohort of 20 startups later that year at a gala at IIT Bombay.

Eighteen months later, in May 2021, the Mumbai-based fund passed the milestone of 50 startups, with his Last 21 investments come inside two quarters. Did India need another VC at an early stage?

Sanjay tells Your story, “India lacks leading investors who can organize transactions and give social proof for fundable companies. We wanted to create a discovery platform in finance the business and have our own skin in the game. We do not take any transaction fees. We tell the world that this is our moat, and you can join the table of hats. And we only make money with other investors when we go out. “

100X.VC, which is sponsored by Mehta Ventures (Family Office Investments), is a SEBI approved company Category 1 – Alternative investment funds. it even helps idea stage and MVP-step startups to get their first check.

Sanjay Mehta, Founder and Partner, 100X.VC

With an average check size of Rs 25 lakh, what Sanjay calls a “cookie cutter model” of investment, 100X.VC has supported 109 founders from proof of concept (POC) to the go-to-market stage, generated 460 jobs and helped 60 to 70 percent of its portfolio companies raise follow-up funds.

the sector-agnostic The fund has investments in agritech, automation, D2C, deeptech, dronetech, EV, edtech, fintech, future of work, games, healthcare, IoT, SaaS, social commerce, etc.

By the end of the year, 100X.VC plans to double your wallet by financing disruptive business models and high growth startups. “The pandemic has come to a halt, but we want invest in 100 companies every year», Reveals Sanjay.

What makes 100X.VC different from a plethora of early stage VCs today?

Unique investment model

In 2019, 100X.VC became the first Indian venture capital fund to use SAFETY Notes, an alternative mode of investment that is gaining popularity in the West.

The local VC designed the concept of ISAFE Notes or “India’s Simple Agreement for Future Equity”, which allowed investors to make an investment in cash in exchange for a convertible instrument. Preference shares with mandatory conversion (CCPS) can be translated into equity when the startup they support continues to raise capital.

Founder-Partner Sanjay explains,

“SAFE Notes is a popular way to invest in Silicon Valley. He gives investors the right to future shares and simplifies the term sheet process. Documentation is 1: 1 between investor and founder, and it helps startups complete the round table in 24-48 hours instead of waiting 8 to 12 weeks to have money in the bank.

Essentially, iSAFE Notes enables start-ups to avoid tedious paperwork, avoid evaluation before or after money games, and also prevent large dilutions of shares which are generally associated with traditional rounds of venture capital.

100X.VC claims that more than 400 angel investors funded its portfolio companies directly using iSAFE Notes.

Ninad Karpe, partner at 100X.VC, said in a recent statement, “2021 is a good start. After examining 1,677 applications for class 03, we selected 10 startups. Everyone has a revolutionary idea, which has the potential to become a successful business globally. These startups can have a significant impact on India by improving living standards and changing our outlook on work / life. “

100X.VC unveiled its third cohort in January and Class 04 in May.

Infographic: Design YS

Growing startups in times of pandemic

Sanjay says the the pandemic has created huge tailwinds for its portfolio companies, and taught the founders to go beyond limited geographies.

He shares: “D2C brands can sell online today because people have come online. Previously, they had to set up offline distribution networks. Because of the pandemic, the horizons have multiplied. “

Overall, investor engagement improved by 5X, he said. “The founders can now connect and validate their ideas with experts worldwide. We had mentors from Hong Kong and the United States who led masterclasses and attended our VC Pitch Days ”.

Manas Madhu, Founder of Kerala Banana Chips (class 03 portfolio startup), okay. “Pitch Day is surely one of the most important parts of the trip 100X.VC. Thousands of investors from all over the world are participating, and what could be better than that? he says.

VC Pitch Day at IIT Bombay

100X.VCthe fourth cohort just announced includes 11 startups in the early stages:

a) BHyve (a Future of Work SaaS platform that helps companies document the tacit knowledge of their employees and launch peer-to-peer learning networks)

b) Clinify (a live interactive course marketplace for students to learn new skills)

vs) CRE.CLUB (a social payment platform that allows buyers to pay via social media posts at the point of sale)

re) DataKund (a smart, code-free browser tool that allows users to create software bots to automate their work)

e) FieldProxy (a SaaS platform that helps field service companies better manage their field teams)

F) Inzpira (an organized marketplace for live English learning that allows students to instantly connect with instructors anywhere)

g) Kroop IA (a service that detects deep counterfeits and helps companies authenticate audio and video samples)

h) Moving (a must-have platform for news, information, verified knowledge, and crypto connections)

I) Powerbot (an energy analysis service that helps industries and commercial buildings optimize their use of electricity in real time)

j) Quiz (a skills-based real money gaming platform that allows players to earn money through online competitions)

k) Talkie (a real-time voice chat platform allowing remote teams to communicate effectively)

Some of his earlier holding companies, like CORA Health, Accio Robotics, Vitra.ai, SAWO Laboratories, Selection technologies, and Knorish, went to raise follow-up funds within six months. “We are a first check fund, but our goal is to invest in companies that can scale, ”says Sanjay.

Manas, from Kerala Banana Chips, adds: “I thank the 100X.VC team for transform our idea into a well-prepared startup. Sanjay’s suggestions for growth and networking, Yagnesh’s mentoring on the finance and investment side, Vatsal’s efforts on masterclasses and pitch, Ninad’s wisdom, and Shashank’s thoughts on how a startup should be – Iyou’ve been transformational.

Creation of a mentoring and referral network

In May, 100X.VC announced a partnership with LetsVenture, which will enable its portfolio of startups to reach More than 7,500 investors (angels, high net worth individuals and family offices) via the platform.

Shanti Mohan, Founder, LetsVenture, said in a statement: “This partnership offers a possibility of participating in companies funded by 100X.VC and support the founders in their business creation journey, with time and capital. LV will invest through its SEBI registered angel fund. We see this partnership grow as 100X.VC continues to build its cohorts. “

One of 100X.VC’s initiatives is Founder’s Dating which helps founders find co-founders

The partnership will provide LetsVenture members with a credible and organized list of companies identified, supported and funded by 100X.VC.

“LV has a union of small investors who will pool the money and appear under a single name on the capitalization table. For a startup, it becomes easier to manage investors this way. LV members, on the other hand, will get a credible business flow companies funded by 100X.VC, ”explains Sanjay.

Last month, 100X.VC also launched its non-profit initiative Entrepreneurship Gurukul, which provides a education platform for budding entrepreneurs without charge, without equity and without charge. The platform aims to catalyze the conversion of ideas into real businesses, with the help of masterclasses led by experts.

The course includes pre-recorded video conferences by entrepreneurs and investors as well as live sessions for personalized learning. 100X.VC claims to already have integrated 200 founders for the 12 week program. Upon completion of Gurukul Entrepreneurship, Founders will receive a Certificate of Completion and a possibility of being funded by 100X.VC.

Ninad said at the launch of the program: “One of the main areas of intervention is upgrading of skills related to the development of scalable business models, product pricing, and understand finances. As part of this program, we also have focus on soft skills like presenting and launching fundraising campaigns.

Founding team of 100X.VC

Roadmap for future investments

100X.VC, which completes its two-year anniversary next month, estimates that the pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we live or work. And the next wave of successful startups would be those that serve the new normal.

Sanjay elaborates,

“Life is still will be hybrid now. This will not be a prime situation in the short term (three to five years) future. We look The future of work as an emerging segmentt. the the home economy is also growing wildly. All services that can be provided at home, including subscriptions, D2C brands, etc. will experience strong growth. And we will continue to fund a lot of cconsumer-oriented companies. “

100X.VC also believes India will experience strong growth in corporate venture capital within one to two years – a trend already visible, with the rapid acceleration of transactions led by Reliance and Tata Digital.

The fund has set up a partnership with companies who have a body of work to invest in startups, and create a tailor-made business flow for them.

Sanjay says, “Enterprise venture capital did not exist in India just three years ago. But the Walmart-Flipkart deal rocked everyone. Today, every established business is looking to invest and work with startups, because that’s where innovation lies. Or, what explains that SBI finances fintechs? [Cashfree] or Mahindra buying out Meru Cabs?

The answer may well be in the wind.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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