A trend-spotter, Rehan Yar Khan invests in 10-12 companies a year and up to Rs 1 crore in each venture. He is an active member of the Indian Angel Network (IAN) and began investing in start-ups in 2008. Khan has funded 20 start-ups till date.
Khan has founded Flora2000.com, an e-commerce site retailing flowers across the globe. The US-focused business division for Flora2000.com has evolved fast to become the fourth largest in America. He also runs a start-up called Remindo, Inc. and is on the board of several start-ups such as Druva Software Pvt Ltd and Buytheprice.com.
Khan believes start-ups should scale up fast as competition may arrive unexpectedly. He also notes that entrepreneurs should hire top IT talents as part of the founding team, as software/IT plays a key role in any business today. Finally, new ventures have to keep checking customer satisfaction instead of focusing on marketing ploys.
Also, while raising fund, it is vital to pick the right investor. “Go for investors with whom you enjoy working, not just big names or those who give the highest valuation. It is tough to build a company and you should surround yourself with people you to love work with and who add a lot of value to your business,” he sums up.
Preferred Sectors: Consumer Internet, e-commerce, SaaS and mobile.
Preferred Location: Khan is based in Mumbai and invests in Indian start-ups.
Involvement: Brings a decade’s experience in e-commerce, hiring, strategy and marketing to the table. Describes himself as totally hands-on, working shoulder to shoulder with founders.
Key Investments: Holiday comparison site Polama, online taxi services firm Olacabs, Buytheprice.com, mobile video streaming app maker Jigsee Inc, Druva Software, Kwench Library Solutions Pvt Ltd, Innovize Tech, real estate group buying site Groffr.com, Reach Accountant and Exclusively.in.
Hits & Misses: Luxury e-commerce site Exclusively.in raised $16 million from Tiger Global, Accel and Helion. Druva raised $12 million in its series B from Sequoia Capital and Nexus Ventures in August 2011. Corporate library solutions provider Kwench has bagged clients such as Wipro, KPMG, YES BANK, Honeywell and Vodafone.