Life would be tragic if it weren't funny
- This week, Khushdeep Sethi, shares excerpts from our interview with Rhea Karia, Product Manager & Experience Designer; with her own venture (Brainsquad) in the pipeline.
- Get to know her investment journey, what prompted her to start investing in the Indian startup ecosystem and for any advice she could give to women looking to get into investing.
It is true, isn’t it?
This week’s interview reminded me how big the universe is. I interviewed a person with whom I share one of my favorite movies. Stick till the end to know more 😉
Meet Rhea Karia, Product Manager & Experience Designer; with her own venture (Brainsquad) in the pipeline. Ride Along as she recounts her journey as a novice angel investor, having invested in only one startup and looking forward to many more.
Get to know her investment journey, what prompted her to start investing in the Indian startup ecosystem and for any advice she could give to women looking to get into investing.
Q1 - What drove you to make your first investment and why?
I’m in the early stages of my career and being aware of my savings I noticed the surplus in the income and as anyone my age does, I started looking for investment opportunities.
Most people drive towards more traditional forms of investments like stocks, ETFs, and so on but that was never my calling; I never felt connected to that form of investments. My whole world is based on technology-driven ventures and I understand that well so I was looking for something on those lines.
Initially, angel investment was never on my list but I heard Yamika on clubhouse and I got acquainted with how 1stCheque makes angel investment accessible with small ticket sizes and enabling people to be a part of a change. The fact that every deal on your portfolio is risk mitigated and analyzed with scientific methodologies really prompted me to make my first investment.
Q2 - What startup did you invest in and why?
I invested in Happy Soul. A lot of factors pushed me towards it. The wellness/ Mental Health space has become quite prevalent, especially amongst the younger generation. Happy Soul itself is positioned really interestingly. It's almost reminding me of a Shopify + Dropshipping kind of a solution, and the fact it has a whole empowerment element to it as well. The tipping point for me was the fact they’re already established in this space with a lot of in-hand experience. Pooja Bedi, one of the founders, really knows what she's talking about. Her expertise in the industry and keen knowledge of the financials implied her stronghold in every aspect.
Q3 - What does your evaluation process look like?
For me, it’ll always be the founder/s and the team. Does the founder have the right knowledge and expertise? Can s/he show demonstrative understanding of the domain? Does he have a sense of strategic clarity?
Furthermore, the kind of problem they are striving to solve. Is the business model sustainable? Is the founder aware of how the proposed solution is anticipated to operate? Being from the world of technology, I would sort of mentally map out how they're gonna execute it, and if it seems technologically sound and realistic, then it's a big checkmark for me.
When it comes to the sector, I personally feel if the problem they’re solving is unique enough to disrupt a particular market then the sector doesn’t really have that much weightage.
In my perspective, Founders who have a solid understanding of a particular industry are the best suited to find an opportunity with unmet needs in that space.
Q4 - Do you have any advice or insight for women looking to get involved with angel investing?
My advice to anyone, not just women, is you can do anything you want to but you need to take the first step for it. Never let being the only woman in the room hold you back. When you’re thinking about investing in a company ask yourself: do I believe in the founding team? Is it aligned with my area of focus or investment? Am I looking to diversify out of my areas of interest for my investments? Don’t be afraid to come along, to listen, and to learn more. You don’t have to raise your hand for every investment, but make sure you don’t miss out on an investment that’s right for you.
Ending Note - There’s this movie called ‘ The Theory of Everything’ and in the end, Stephen Hawking said, “ There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope.” This is something that always drives me and something that I believe is highly relevant in our Startup Ecosystem. The potential that the Indian startup Ecosystem has set forth represents that there are no boundaries to it and in fact ideas that seem non-realistic now, will be the ones we’d be investing in the future!
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