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26-year-old doctor who has backed two dozen startups shares his secret sauce

Ritesh Malik

Ritesh Malik

Ritesh Malik, a 26-year-old doctor-turned-investor who was among those listed on ‘Forbes 30 under 30 Asia’ recently, has invested over $2.5 million in over 26 startups under his angel fund Guerrilla Ventures. Calling himself a ‘safe investor’, Malik said he put his family’s money only in intellectual property (IP)-driven hardware startups so that even if the startup fails, the patent can be sold to get the money back.

However, Malik is now keen on consolidating his investments. In a chat with VCCircle, he said, “We are in a consolidation phase. We are bringing the number of investments down to 15 from 26. We are either exiting, merging or closing down nearly 10 investments, and at the same increasing our equity in the existing 15 investments.”

Malik’s investments include Exploride Technologies, Flip Technologies, Adstuck Consulting, Asimov, FinRobotics, Inc42, Flip Technologies, SectorQube, Mashinga, Thinkpot, Woodapple, Pyxel (Wigzo), Harvin Academy, Little.in, Bisko Labs, Comet Core, Josh Talks, DIY Hacking, Ketto, Bluegape, AddoDoc, Neuron Labs and Woostays, among others.

He is looking to exit from Guerrilla Venture’s underperforming investments—which include Little.in, a social networking site for kids, and Bluegape, a Gurgaon-based startup that pivoted from fan merchandise business to a visual blogging platform—in three months. “And, over two years, we will exit from at least 10 more startups,” Malik said.

At the same time, he is betting big on Exploride, Neuron Labs, Pyxel (Wigzo) and AddoDoc. Guerrilla Ventures’ flagship investments also include Asimov and Flip Technologies.

“We invest in ideas which are far ambitious whose chance of succeeding is very less. But if they succeed, they will be big and impactful,” he said.

Besides investing, Malik has tried his hand at being an entrepreneur. He started his entrepreneurial journey in 2012 by co-founding a technology startup Adstuck Consulting, which sold off its flagship product Alive App, an augmented realty software, to The Times of India in 2013. In addition, he co-founded Harvin Academy that offers coaching for medical and engineering entrance examinations and Thinkpot, an inspirational merchandise startup. He also helped his father Ravi Malik—who is owner of Delhi-based Malik Radix Healthcare—set up a hotel project Woodapple Hospitality, also in Delhi. Most recently, he came up with Innov8, a co-working space for startups, which operates a centre at Connaught Place in Delhi.

Innov8 charges on a per-seat basis. Entrepreneurs opting for a 24×7 plan are charged Rs 12,000 a month while a 12-hour plan costs Rs 10,000. There are also six- and four-hour plans which cost Rs 6,000 and Rs 2,000, respectively.

Malik plans to open Innov8 centres in Chandigarh and Mumbai soon.“We have got the space in these cities and both the centres should be operational in 100 days,” he said.

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