One of the challenges of being an entrepreneur and founder is finding the capital to spark growth. There are obviously many ways to do it – from bootstrapping to taking on debt to finding an equity investor – but for most of us with big ideas it is the equity investment we tend to gravitate towards. Growth happens for a reason but to achieve the kind of growth we all want venture capitalists are often-times essential fuel. It is no different for those of you out there building mobile services and applications.
That is why this episode (and more to come) is about the venture industry – more specifically on what it takes to get the attention of top VCs with your business. Our guest is Anamitra Banerji of Foundation Capital and the goal is to understand what he invests in and why. Anamitra has been on both sides of the fence. He is a founder and has worked for household name companies like Yahoo! and Twitter – putting product out the door that reach hundreds of millions of people.
He shares his criteria for investment and what industries are emerging that he is keeping his eye on.
Key takeaways from this episode. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip
1. What is your area of expertise 2:25
2. What is the key metric for you to be interested in investing in? 3:20
3. What is your view on the timing of monetization? 4:20
4. Things VCs look for in a company for investment 6:00
5. How do founders get in front of you? 8:40
6. Do VCs really invest in the team or is it the idea? 13:00
7. How do entrepreneurs become “trusted” by VCs? 14:45
8. When should entrepreneurs give up? 16:55
9. What questions should they ask VCs? 19:18
10. What is the most important slide in the pitch deck? 21:20
11. What is the oddest pitch you’ve sat through? 23:45
12. What industries are emerging that aren’t being addressed? 25:45
13. What companies have you invested in already and why? 32:25
14. How do you rapidly scale growth? 34:35
15. What inspires you? 36:00
About Anamitra Banerji
Anamitra Banerji became a Partner at Foundation Capital. He came to Foundation with eight years of product management leadership experience in the consumer internet space at Twitter, Yahoo! and Overture. Before working in product roles, Anamitra was a software engineer in the enterprise data space for four years. He also co-founded an internet-healthcare company during the ’98-’00 boom-bust.
Anamitra joined Twitter in March 2009 as its 30th employee and first product manager. While there, he built out Twitter’s advertising team, incubating from scratch all three products—promoted tweets, promoted trends and promoted accounts—and led the team in getting those products up and running.
As Partner at Foundation Capital, Banerji focuses on identifying and investing in promising startups in the communications, commerce, mobile and marketing technology industries. He uses his vast personal experience working alongside entrepreneurs to identify those who stand out in their respective industries. During his time as an EIR, he served as a consultant in the investment process and also helped launch Widescope, an early-stage research project at Stanford focused on crowd-sourcing federal and state budget deficit reduction.
Anamitra earned an MBA from Cornell University and a degree in Electronics Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur, India.