[Editorial Notes : SAIF Partners recently announced its investment in Appiterate, a native mobile app instant publishing and A/B testing startup. What’s interesting is that SAIF did a seed round and followed up with angels, a very rare move by investors. Mayank Khanduja @KhandujaMayank of SAIF Partners shares a great perspective!]
As we were very excited about the potential of the platform and the team at Appiterate, we did the seed round of investment at a prototype stage itself. We then followed this up with bringing in two great Angel investors six months post the seed round – Greg Badros (ex-VP, Product & Engineering, Facebook and advisor/investor in companies like Healthtap and Square) and Prashant Malik (one of the first engineers at Facebook, Investor in Hinge and creator of Apache Cassandra).
This move may be considered contrary to the conventional path of fund raising, where VCs come in after Angels and not the other way around. However, we felt that Greg and Prashant’s great experience in the Silicon Valley would be extremely useful for Appiterate as they seek to solve a non-trivial technology problem.
This alliance will give them the guidance and opportunity to create a world-class product and thus we are excited about working together. While VCs bring in experience across multiple scaled up investments and capital for the long run, Angels like Greg and Prashant bring in deep functional and operations expertise.
Lucky are those startups that are blessed with Angels who help them refine their product thinking, develop a viable go-to-market strategy and also open doors to those elusive set of first customers.
A startup can gain a great deal if it has a set of Angel and VC investors who work well together. We as a fund enjoy working with Angel investors and other members of the eco-system to help startups grow.
At the same time, a smart entrepreneur leverages all his investors well by dipping into the right skills sets of each one of them. Much like the captain of a ship, he has many hands on deck – if moved the right way, he would have a strong tail wind.