An engineer-MBA (BITS Pilani-IIM-Lucknow) and founder of Cross-Tab, a market research and analytics firm, Gupta is currently working on his third start-up. “Being in the start-up trenches gave me the experience and (some) expertise that I believe to be valuable for others beginning their start-up journey. Also, it enables me to contribute to an ecosystem that needs support. Finally, like every angel, I hope to
write an early cheque for the next Google or FB,” he says.
Gupta has an astute advice for start-ups. “Take slightly less money than you really need and conserve equity.”
Preferred Sectors: Consumer Internet, as Gupta has maximum exposure in this space). “Agri-based start-ups which are either innovative or address a specific need through technology/efficiency are of high interest,” adds Gupta.
Preferred Location: India and the USA.
Involvement: “The consortium-based approach (of Mumbai Angels or IAN) leads to one being mostly hands-off. However, I attempt to be a hands-on investor by participating as a board member of the investee company. I am also on the screening committee that evaluates business plans. Plus, I mentor 2-3 pre-funded start-ups at any given point in time,” he details.
Key Investments: Some recently disclosed investments include Milk Mantra (dairy products), Exclusively.in (e-tailing), Efarm (agri supply chain platform), Level10 (creator of comic book content), Serial Innovations (defence and homeland security applications) and Wild East (business opportunities for celebrity, media, fashion and corporate brands).
Hits & Misses: Needless to say, some have worked out way better than others by achieving their financial and business milestones, says Gupta but declines to share specifics.