early stage investing in technology companies

Leo Capital is a venture capital fund, investing in early stage, technology centric opportunities, primarily in India. We invest anywhere from $300K – $1.5M in early seed rounds or pre-Series A rounds.

We are looking to invest in large spaces where technology creates leverage. We look for teams that are persistent, have invested their time and energy in understanding the nuances and have a clear thought process of how they would go about building the business. We have a flexible investment size that allows to invest in a company at any stage. We can invest very early, at a concept stage, or we can invest at a later stage depending on the space itself, traction, ability to scale and other factors.

Portfolio

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How to approach us for investment

If you are pitching to us for the first time, we recommend that you take a few minutes to go through this website, our partner profiles and past investments. You can then email us at pitch@leo.capital. We prefer that you hit us with everything you have, right away. All the pitches sent to us get attention from our partners and we will reply to you in all cases, whether we invest or not.

About our team

Rajul Garg is the founder and managing partner of Leo Capital India. His role is to advise on all investments. Earlier, Rajul has been a serial entrepreneur and active angel investor. You can check Rajul’s angel investment portfolio here to get a sense of historical investments and interests. Rajul lives in Delhi, and is a frequent traveler to meet prospective and existing investment.

Some investment related thoughts from Rajul are :

Shwetank Verma is a co-founder and partner at Leo Capital. Other than helping with investments in India, he is helping the fund and its portfolio companies look into Asia and collaborate with large corporations. He is based out of Singapore, but is a frequent traveler to India. He is personally passionate about opportunities in health-tech and insurtech.

Some innovation and entrepreneurship thoughts from Shwetank are:

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. What is a good way to write reach out for investment?
  2. Please email us at pitch@leo.capital. All the investment seeking emails are directly read and responded to by the partners.

     

  3. Does it help if I approach you through a reference?
  4. We look at your email and materials whether you approach us directly or via a reference. However, if you do know someone we know (specially entrepreneurs we have invested into), you can mention it in your correspondence. The end outcome of whether to invest in your venture or not is unlikely to be affected, however it may help get a little extra attention.

     

  5. Do you invest in certain spaces?
  6. We are always interested in looking at spaces where technology can create leverage. Please highlight how you will scale using technology to get our attention!

     

  7. Can you sign a Non-disclosure before I send you information about my business?
  8. Unfortunately we are unable to sign an NDA. The reason is that we get a lot of business plans and many of these plans overlap in different ways. It’s very easy to inadvertently violate a NDA even without wanting to. Our suggestion to you is to not disclose aspects of your business initially to us that you consider confidential. We understand it’s tricky sometimes since you also want to excite investors, but it’s a balance you will have to strike. We do not share ideas / materials across companies, especially when there is a conflict of interest. We are not looking to steal your ideas to fund someone else.

     

  9. What’s the first good email to write to you?
  10. We prefer a very direct communication with everything that you have available. Let us provide some examples of bad emails:

     

    Bad email 1: Do you invest in this XYZ space – I have an idea? It’s a bad email since it’s impossible to judge an idea based on this. It always depends on the specifics. You also come across as very raw when you send an email like this and it’s hard to recover from this.

     

    Bad email 2: I am looking for investment. Can we please talk? We understand that you may want to talk, but we would appreciate if you can send us some details so that we can gauge our interest level and allocate you time. It always depends on the specifics. If you still REALLY feel that you can only explain your idea over a call / meeting, then send us an email explaining why. Alternatively, in this case a reference may help.

     

    Bad email 3: I already have commitments for 70% of the round, I would like you to evaluate this and invest. Its creditable that you have other investors interested in you and it definitely is a strong point. However, it’s not the only factor for us. For us, the business itself is the first determining factor and we would evaluate that. Only when we are interested in a business, would we look at the next steps in terms of financial parameters etc. However, if you provide this information along with the business details, it’s a positive.

     

    Bad email 4: I am looking for advice (when you are actually looking for funding) We are in the business of investments. We want to help the entrepreneurial eco-system by contributing wherever we can, however providing advice is not our business. Also, we believe that entrepreneurs know the best about their businesses and have different risk profiles and expectations. We prefer a very direct approach seeking investments. If you are truly looking for advice, look at FAQ #6.

     

    Bad email 5: Can you refer other investors to me? This usually is a reply once we have replied, “Not interested” to someone. It’s not possible for us to refer you to other people if we are not investing. You are much better of approaching other investors yourself.

     

    A good email would generally clearly state the key elements of the business – the market, the team and what has been achieved so far. Every business has some uniqueness. It maybe in the market, maybe in the business model, or maybe in the product and a good email articulates how that uniqueness has been demonstrated so far. If you have slides / video, please do send it with the first email itself.

     

  11. How do I get advice?
  12. This is a tricky one. As investors, we are inherently conflicted. We want to spend more time with businesses we want to invest into. Also, there is always a possibility that your business might have a conflict of interest with an existing portfolio company. The best way to get advice is to be more specific. It’s extremely hard to have generic discussions . If you want a specific discussion around let’s say a product strategy, and if you have done enough homework at your own end that you know the right questions to ask, then it should reflect in your email. There are areas which are of interest to us and we might get engaged in that. However, there are others, which may not interest us at the time.

     

  13. How much time does it take to get funded?
  14. We are early stage investor and try to take a decision quickly, but you should still factor in at least 2-3 meetings over a few weeks. We would try to give you a term sheet in a month if we are interested. That’s the SLA we are trying to hold ourselves to. After the termsheet it may take a further 1-2 months to close, i.e. get the money in the bank, factoring in syndication needs, diligence, paperwork etc.

     

  15. What is the valuation I can expect?
  16. The way the algorithm works – first it’s about building interest in the business, valuation comes later. We get emails where the founder says that I am looking to dilute X% for Y amount of money. Unless you have another lead investor, this carries no meaning. The price is determined by the market and is a function also of the amount of money you are raising, how much the business needs, market interest and so on.