This is the story of Dhama Apparel Innovations (DAI), a start up funded by TePP phase I and II. DAI has developed apparel and accessories that act as personal air conditioning systems. We have a developed a, heating/cooling jacket, helmet and neck scarf. If you are interested in finding out more information, kindly visit, www.dhamainnovations.com
When the company was started, the main promoter of the company was Kranthi Kiran Vistakula. My main vision was to build a team and raise finances for the technology he had developed. Spearheading, with in a year I expanded his company strength to four personnel and have made presentations to many angles and VC firms. We made presentations to TATA Industries, Mumbai Angels, Indian Angel Network, Reliance Technology ventures and many more investors. I feel that the key with these investors is to generate interest but showing the advantages of the technology and demonstrating advanced stage of product or technology development. Investors mostly care about the technology and risks associated with it and are less worried about the market figures at the initial stages. This does not meet that the market part should be left out, a through market analysis have to be prepared along with a strategy to enter market. Once significant interest has been generated with the investor, they get into the details and at this point most value is given to the business model and how do you want to grow the company and what will be the exit for the company.
The most critical stage of the negotiation with the investors is the valuation of the company and the terms in the term sheet. It is to the advantage of the company in valuation to show or generate as much customer feedback or customer interactions. Showing that you are very close to the market can generate higher valuation and you have taken all steps to minimize the risk. After this is the background check, reference check, due diligence and legal due diligence.
In summary, the key to getting funded by investors is to generate a significant interest in the technology and keeping things as transparent as possible by identifying the risk and showing a risk mitigation strategy. The investors are not only investing in the company, they will also promote the company so it is to our advantage to keep things as transparent as possible to build a long lasting relation.