Nikhil is one of the most Tech & Product-centric VCs in Asia. This probably comes from his early career with Microsoft, and later with Pie (acquired by Google)
He also founded a company called TommyJams, a tech-enabled Artist management platform
He has been with STRIVE Ventures for over 5 years. STRIVE’s portfolio includes HASURA, Classplus, and Saleswhale among others
In this podcast, Nikhil shares his experience of investing in SaaS startups in Asia and helping them achieve Product-Market Fit
01:03 - Two major SaaS buckets for STRIVE - (1) Global SaaS (US, European, & Asian markets) and (2) Local SaaS (India SaaS / Indonesian SaaS and similar others.)
04:48 - How does STRIVE focus on such segregated SaaS markets?
09:28 - Not only monetizing Local SaaS startups through the typical Subscription-Business model (Example - Classplus) but also through transactions
17:34 - What was the thought process at STRIVE while coming up with a Non-subscription model for monetizing their portfolio companies in the Indian market?
20:27 - Indonesia SaaS market in terms of product adoption, willingness-to-pay & market penetration
26:21 - Portfolio of Global SaaS - Healint, HASURA, Saleswhale
29:18 - Investing in HASURA with a vision to simplify backend developmen
33:10 - Investment Thesis - “Founders & Teams who Do More with Less”
36:10 -Common early-stage mistakes in SaaS startups
40:05 -Crucial changes in GTM strategies for SaaS startups in Pre-COVID vs Post-COVID market
48:22 - Emphasizing on portfolio companies to build user engagement and reach an initial $1 million+ ARR