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Interview 2016-04-18

I am inclined towards early stage opportunities: Angel investor Utsav Somani

A small but increasing number of angel investors have funded wellness start-ups in the recent past. Tech start-ups like Vyomo (now Naturals@home), UrbanClap, Stylofie and others have bagged adequate amount of funding in the recent past.

I am inclined towards early stage opportunities: Angel investor Utsav Somani

A young tech and start-up enthusiast, Angel Investor Utsav Somani is currently taking ahead his family business and looking after its African expansion. After seeking new opportunities in Consumer Internet, Robotics, Fin and Edu-tech, Pharma, FMCG and Hi-tech Manufacturing Start-ups with high-growth potential, wellness industry excites him.

As of now, Somani backed Testbook, AdpushUp, Zippr, FabBag and Shephertz start-ups and is keen on investing in ever growing wellness start-ups. Here is what fascinates him about wellness industry and what qualities he is looking for in his next investment seeker. Edited excerpts:

What kind of business ideas you are seeking in the wellness industry, apart from innovative and tech-based project?

There are lot of new models coming up! Uber for at-home beauty services and online booking of stylists from selected salon, I think, these will enhance the experience of the discerning Indian consumers, who are open to spend on wellness. StyleSeat in US has done great work and attracted a lot of attention of organising the unorganised stylists market, as well as given the due-recognition by creating a fair functioning marketplace of beauty professionals.

Are you only willing to invest in start-ups or established players can also seek your attention?

I am inclined towards early stage opportunities as that is where the risk and reward opportunity suits my present investment thesis. I might look at established players as well if the growth prospects and the managing team are exciting.

What criteria do you follow to invest in a wellness venture?

Since wellness is a very personal and touch based experience, nothing defines your venture more than a happy and satisfied consumer. I would love to interact with the consumers and do some basic due-diligence like investing in any other business.

How much equity share do you prefer to take in lieu of an allotted investment?

Very hard to put a number to it! For me, a percentage ownership is less relevant than the exit multiple we can achieve on my investment capital.

Please elaborate on any recent Wellness venture you’ve funded?

FabBag is doing great in subscription commerce for beauty products. There is one undisclosed early stage wellness venture I have invested in last week.

What made you invest in a wellness venture? Do you see elaborate growth in the wellness industry?

Market potential is huge. Indian consumers are high spenders on food, entertainment and wellness is bound to see steady state of growth.

Share some tips and suggestions for Wellness Start-ups who are looking for an Angel to fund them.

Understand what differentiates you and make sure the investors see that clearly. It could be your brand recall, huge customer base, exclusive products, fantastic tech / mobile product or world-class stylists.

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