Prashant Mehta and Sandeep Murthy, partners at Lightbox Management Ltd, were at their eloquent best while interacting with entrepreneurs at the VC firm’s office in South Mumbai.
“If you do not want us to engage in your business, then we are probably the wrong people to take money from,” said Murthy, who has led Series A investments in inMobi, Cleartrip and GreenDust as former head of Sherpalo Ventures India.
“We prefer to make few concentrated investments rather than having a portfolio of similar looking companies. It’s about building and not betting,” he added.
Last year, Lightbox closed its second fund of $100 million (about Rs 610 crore) from overseas institutional investors and family offices. The VC firm has already made five investments from this fund and is looking to make two more in the next few months, said Mehta, former CEO of Komli Media.
“We have been entrepreneurs ourselves and we understand your pain,” he told the 40-odd delegates. Lightbox prefers to be the first institutional investor in startups. This helps the VC firm streamline the startup’s culture by putting correct processes in place.
The Lightbox executives also shared their views on common mistakes made by founders.
“Founders spend too much time in the pursuit of raising capital. In the process, they take their eyes off the core product and it suffers,” Mehta said in a response to a question. He also exhorted startups to raise more capital than what they would require immediately.
Lightbox recently participated in a Rs 100 crore ($16 million) funding round at Droom Technology Pvt Ltd, which runs online marketplace for pre-owned automobiles Droom.in.
In March, Lightbox put $6 million (Rs 38 crore) in Bangalore-based Kieraya Furnishing Solutions Pvt Ltd, which operates an online venture for renting furniture.