The Startup Fridays Podcast

Startup Fridays S4 Ep16: How Shivnath Babu wears two hats lightly, an entrepreneur and a scientist

Startup Fridays S4 Ep16: How Shivnath Babu wears two hats lightly, an entrepreneur and a scientist

Startup Fridays S4 Ep15: Will Poole on investing in resilient founders in the global south

Startup Fridays S4 Ep15: Will Poole on investing in resilient founders in the global south

Startup Fridays S4 Ep14: The lightness of being Dev Khare and other notes on India's startup scene

Startup Fridays S4 Ep14: The lightness of being Dev Khare and other notes on India's startup scene

Startup Fridays S4 Ep13: Sayandeb Banerjee on life as a 'practitioner' CEO at TheMathCompany

Startup Fridays S4 Ep13: Sayandeb Banerjee on life as a 'practitioner' CEO at TheMathCompany

Startup Fridays S4 Ep12: Why Rishi Navani seeks founders he can't help, and what he means by that

Startup Fridays S4 Ep12: Why Rishi Navani seeks founders he can't help, and what he means by that

  • Startup Fridays S4 Ep11: Arun Kumar at Celesta on tough times revealing resilient founders, great investments

    Startup Fridays S4 Ep11: Arun Kumar at Celesta on tough times revealing resilient founders, great investments

    In this episode, Arun Kumar, managing partner at Celesta Capital, talks about why some of the best VC investment opportunities can be found in tough times, as they reveal the most resilient entrepreneurs. Kumar's career includes leading KPMG India and serving in former US President Barack Obama's administration. He also talks about embracing change—from leading thousands of colleagues at KPMG to being part of a team of about 25 at Celesta—the importance of purpose, his love of poetry and learning to enjoy everything that life threw at him

  • Startup Fridays S4 Ep10: SpotDraft's founders on spit-and-a-handshake in the age of machines and AI

    Startup Fridays S4 Ep10: SpotDraft's founders on spit-and-a-handshake in the age of machines and AI

    In this episode, Shashank Bijapur, Madhav Bhagat and Rohith Salim talk about how they got to build SpotDraft, which offers a machine learning and AI-based contract lifecycle management platform to legal teams at companies around the world. Founded in 2017, SpotDraft has helped customers process more than a million contracts since the company released its first commercial product. The first-time entrepreneurs have raised nearly $45 million in funding from investors including Prosus, PremjiInvest, and Arkam Ventures. This year, soon, they expect to hit an ARR of $10 million

  • Startup Fridays S4 Ep9: Ganesh Rengaswamy's fascinating trip from Travel Guru to Quona Capital

    Startup Fridays S4 Ep9: Ganesh Rengaswamy's fascinating trip from Travel Guru to Quona Capital

    In this episode, Ganesh Rengaswamy, co-founder and managing partner at Quona Capital, looks back at how he once juggled being a co-founder at Travel Guru and an MBA student at Harvard Business School, and what he would have done differently. Ganesh also talks about Quona's deep interest in fintech in India and several other markets; and how India's public digital infrastructure and private startups will eventually unlock the massive potential of our SMBs. He also talks about his own experience with respect to seeking and learning from mentors

  • Startup Fridays S4 Ep8: Nishchay Ag's plan to stay scrappy, be shameless and build a Zoho at Jar

    Startup Fridays S4 Ep8: Nishchay Ag's plan to stay scrappy, be shameless and build a Zoho at Jar

    In this episode, Nishchay Ag, co-founder and CEO of Jar, talks about how there is a massive addressable gap in India's middle class with financial products that go beyond the top 30 million that everyone is targeting. Nishchay talks about how he and his friend Misbah Ashraf went from a few WhatsApp group pilots to 10 million users at Jar, in just two years, helping people save money by investing in gold, every day. With close to $65 million in funding, Jar is changing how millions of small-town Indians save, one user at a time

  • Startup Fridays S4 Ep7: Bala Srinivasa on the great middle Indian opportunity for startups and VCs

    Startup Fridays S4 Ep7: Bala Srinivasa on the great middle Indian opportunity for startups and VCs

    In this episode, Bala Srinivasa, managing director at Arkam Ventures, talks about experiences from the firm's first set of 14 investments so far from their $106 million inaugural fund. Over the last four years, Srinivasa, and his fellow founding partner Rahul Chandra, have backed entrepreneurs who have successfully applied technology to create business innovation in areas including financial services, agriculture, modern staffing and augmented reality. A second thesis at Arkam is software-as-a-service and Bala also talks about why Indian SaaS companies mostly prefer the US as a market

  • Startup Fridays S4 Ep6: Nitin Chhabra's fascinating journey from Boomer bubblegum to SaaS to $50 mln retail operator

    Startup Fridays S4 Ep6: Nitin Chhabra's fascinating journey from Boomer bubblegum to SaaS to $50 mln retail operator

    In this episode, Nitin Chhabra, co-founder and CEO of Ace Turtle, a tech-enabled retail business that's the force behind brands like Lee and Wrangler in India, talks about how the company started out as a SaaS business, selling software for the so-called omnichannel retail. Nitin and co-founder Berry Singh then decided to risk that entire business, convincing their board and investors, to transform Ace Turtle into a retail operator, even as the Covid pandemic was unfolding. They are now looking at more than doubling their sales to become a $100 million company over the next 12 months

  • Startup Fridays S4 Ep5: Suresh Sambandam's irrepressible optimism for India's SaaS sector

    Startup Fridays S4 Ep5: Suresh Sambandam's irrepressible optimism for India's SaaS sector

    In this episode, Suresh Sambandam, founder and CEO of OrangeScape, better known for its product Kissflow, talks about persevering for over 15 years, before he found himself at the right place at the right time offering the right product. Suresh now dreams of making his company at least one of the top three in the world in its category. He also talks about his optimism for India's cloud software sector and why he believes it can really deliver a trillion dollars in value—an idea that he says was dismissed by many when he aired it at a conference in Bengaluru some four years ago

  • Startup Fridays S4 Ep4: 'To succeed as an entrepreneur, never lose sight of your end goal' — Ben Mathias

    Startup Fridays S4 Ep4: 'To succeed as an entrepreneur, never lose sight of your end goal' — Ben Mathias

    In this episode, Ben Mathias, managing partner at Vertex Ventures for Southeast Asia and India, talks about how he decided to leave behind a nice life in the software industry in Silicon Valley, to come to India as a VC investor. With over three decades in the tech and VC industry combined, Ben talks about what investors did to startups over the last two years, distracting them with too much money from the real purpose of building lasting businesses. He also talks about why Vertex is very bullish on India, how the firm invests, and what his investment plans are in 2023

  • Startup Fridays S4 Ep3: 'Small-town India remains a largely untapped opportunity for startups' — Anjani Bansal

    Startup Fridays S4 Ep3: 'Small-town India remains a largely untapped opportunity for startups' — Anjani Bansal

    In this episode, Anjani Bansal, partner and India country head at Global Brain, a Japanese VC firm, talks about why certain opportunities in small-town India are ready for startups to grab and create disruptive innovations. The time is also right for Global Brain to step up its own operations in India, Bansal says, who is looking to grow his team and go beyond the "outbound" investments that the firm has largely relied on so far. Bansal talks about his own "meandering" journey starting from a chance encounter with a book on Rwanda and the path that it set him on

  • Startup Fridays S4 Ep2: 'Find difficult and large problems and prepare for the long haul' — Rahul Garg

    Startup Fridays S4 Ep2: 'Find difficult and large problems and prepare for the long haul' — Rahul Garg

    In today's episode, Rahul Garg, founder and CEO of Moglix, talks about what's next for the company, which he says is knocking on $600-700 million in revenue. He also talks about his love of solving not just difficult problems, but difficult and large ones, which feeds his entrepreneurial decisions. Aspiring founders must understand this, and prepare for the long haul—from the existential challenges of the early years to facing the question 'can you scale profitably,' later on, he says

  • Startup Fridays S4 Ep1: 'I wish for India, many unreasonable entrepreneurs' — Cody Friesen

    Startup Fridays S4 Ep1: 'I wish for India, many unreasonable entrepreneurs' — Cody Friesen

    In today's episode, Cody Friesen, founder and CEO of SOURCE Global, talks about his dream of putting to bed one of humanity's biggest and most urgent problems—the lack of access to clean drinking water for billions around the planet. Friesen is a scientist, engineer, teacher and entrepreneur. In this conversation, he also reflects on his approach to knowledge transfer, the "vibrancy" of India's startup ecosystem, and his hope that we'll see many entrepreneurs willing to challenge and break the status quo to solve some of our biggest problems