Author Archives: michael_seedplus

About michael_seedplus

I am a partner at SeedPlus, focusing on the seed stage investing at seedplus.com.

How WeChat faded into the silence in India | FactorDaily

Long in depth read on not just WeChat but a few of the Chinese companies trying to win in India.

The whole thing is good but the summation is spot on.

How WeChat faded into the silence in India | FactorDaily:

Sahai says that for Chinese companies mainly those supported by the BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) trio, China market is always the core business and the rest of the market is an expansion, which creates some sort of inertia when dealing with the competition here in India.

But, it has become increasingly clear that India as a market cannot be generalised. As Sajith Pai, who works with VC firm Blume Ventures, puts it, India is divided into three consumer segments: the first 100 million, mainly the urban or affluent Indians and are the main targets of indulgent e-commerce brands; the second 100 million classified as the aspiring class; and the last a little over a billion — three segments he calls the splurgers, strivers and survivors.

Pai says that most global companies investing in India, including Apple, Facebook and Instagram are aware of this graph and think of India as a secondary market by targeting the first 100 million. Things may be changing from the WeChat days with a new crop of Chinese companies trying to cater to the new 100 million, including rural India, new internet users and youngsters. Case in point: MX player, NewsDog, Shareit, and UCBrowser that cater to the new internet users in India have a higher chance of surviving in India because they understand the new Indian users better.

Still, unlike China where there is a big government-initiated push for a common language and similar culture, cultural diversity in India, like lack of a common language, city structures, and economic disparity makes it difficult to generalize the Indian market. That’s the lesson that Tencent – and, indeed, the BAT trio – seems to have learnt and are only investing in large Indian companies.

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Why Product Doesn’t Win — The Information

This is so good. I need to digest some of the more salient points but I love the truth telling.

In the past few weeks, as some of the Valley’s most mature internet companies have faced crisis after crisis, there’s been a theme circulating that these companies, and Facebook in particular, has lost their product way.This chatter peaked when journalists and others suggested that Instagram …

— Read on www.theinformation.com/articles/why-product-doesnt-win

From a Rs 33 Cr investment to a Rs 300 Cr exit: Why India needs to celebrate Mettl’s acquisition

All of the region needs more of this:

While we celebrate Flipkart’s $16-billion exit to Walmart, let’s also start looking at exits in the range of $40 million-50 million where the capital raised is almost next to nothing (compared to the …

— Read on yourstory.com/2018/10/rs-33-cr-investment-rs-300-cr-exit-india-needs-celebrate-mettls-acquisition/amp

My own fear & loathing

I have read this article about 10 times already. It really struck me since it was published a day after my birthday. Unfortunately, once I hit 40 I tend to think a lot about myself around my birthdays. Pretty easy to realize that I have already spent quite a few years on this planet and not all my “plans” have quite worked out.

I think being a VC is one of those gigs where it is really easy to get inside your own head and constantly tinker with yourself. It’s a long game and given that you are not always able to see the fruits of your labor in real time you might question your actions more due to the lack of feedback. Anything I am working on will most likely take years to go the right way or even fail. I am not complaining as much as learning how to adjust to this new normal.

I find it is helpful to just admit that I don’t actually know everything and that I will make mistakes. I just clear out the evils around worrying so that I can adjust my confidence level to a good medium point knowing it is important to move forward and have a plan. I was listening to Howard Marks on Tim Ferris and admiring that with his experience and wisdom he advocates just moving forward knowing you will make mistakes. Don’t get hung up on it.

There are 6 major points in the article. All of them hit me straight on.

VC is amazing work but it is difficult. I am doing my best to redouble my efforts around focusing on what is truly amazing about it- the founders, the products, my team and the notion of being in service to all so that I can help achieve the best outcome.

If you check you ego at the door and see yourself as being in the service industry, you can focus on where your time and efforts really matter.

I am going to keep remembering this for now:

So the following should not detract from how hard it is to build a company. The founders are and should be central. To them belongs the glory. They are in the game; we are on the sidelines (if we’re doing it right).