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SEED TO SCALE Podcast Series by Accel
47 minutes | 5 months ago
INSIGHTS #65 - Future of Digital Health: AI
If there is one thing that the pandemic is bound to teach humanity, it is the will to go with the flow and not plan too ahead in life. That said, counterintuitively, it seems important to be prepared and planned when similar outbreaks arise in the future. A healthcare startup from Canada, BlueDot, in its report, shared that the outbreak was fast spreading in China even before the World Health Organisation (WHO) had reported it. The startup’s outbreak risk software helps mitigate the exposure to infectious diseases using Artificial Intelligence. It goes to show that healthcare organisations, governments and public health officials would have to rely on these AI-based systems in the future to prevent similar outbreaks from reoccurring. On this podcast, Murali Aravumdan, Founder and CEO of nference and Radhika Ananth, Vice President at Accel cover some of the important applications of AI in healthcare, and the sub-segments that are still untouched by AI but have huge potential for disruption. We also cover the apprehension of the medical communities to adopt to new technologies and the steps to overcome them. The focus areas within healthcare for Accel are AI in diagnostics, drug discovery, precision medicine and digital therapeutics, with some recent investments made in these categories.
47 minutes | 5 months ago
INSIGHTS #64 - Future of Agritech: The evolution of Agritech in India
Taking cues from a top-down structural approach, the Agritech industry has many layers to it. On top of them however, like every other major industry, Financial services is also a critical part of Agritech. However, it is largely unorganised and has plenty of room for disruption. Most farmers in the country do not have access to credit-based lending facilities and startups like Samunnati are attempting to fill that gap. Mark Kahn, the Founding Partner of Agritech-focused impact venture fund Omnivore, chats with Prashanth Prakash and Anand Daniel of Accel, discussing the trends in Agritech in India. They talk about the major market segments Agritech is segregated into, the factors that are fueling the growth of the industry, and how COVID has contributed to the sector’s growth.
47 minutes | 6 months ago
INSIGHTS #63 - Future of Digital Health: What lies ahead for the patient of the future?
The future of digital health pertains to a myriad of technologies put together. Whether it is Artificial Intelligence (AI), advanced health sensors genomics, digital therapeutics, or all of them put together, digital healthcare is very much technology-based only on paper as of now. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have learned in a hard way that we need to be better prepared when similar outbreaks happen in the future, and the only way to predict, prevent and manage care would be through massive digitization of the healthcare industry. On this podcast, Dr. Bertalan Meskó, Director of The Medical Futurist Institute and Radhika Ananth, Vice President at Accel cover some of the high impact trends in digital health, some north star metrics for healthcare startups, and finally how prevention and care will be delivered to the patient of the future.
60 minutes | 6 months ago
INSIGHTS #62 - Untold Seed Stories: First 500 Days of Freshworks
Podcasts have been one of the ways we try to bring out untold stories of startup founders. Continuing with this tradition, we at Accel are excited to introduce our new podcast mini-series: Untold Seed Stories. This new show aims to unravel the first 500 days of our founders’ startup journey — ranging from how they first conceived the idea and met their co-founders, to details of how they secured their first funding and challenges along the way. For the fourth podcast of our Untold Seed Stories, we chat with Girish Matrhubootham, Co-founder and CEO of Freshworks. Founded in October 2010 in Chennai, Girish and his CTO Shan Krishnaswamy grew the company to a Series-H stage, after its latest fundraise of $150 million.
57 minutes | 7 months ago
INSIGHTS #61 - Untold Seed Stories: First 500 Days of Swiggy
Podcasts have been one of the ways we try to bring out untold stories of startup founders. Continuing with this tradition, we at Accel are excited to introduce our new podcast mini-series: Untold Seed Stories. This new show aims to unravel the first 500 days of our founders’ startup journey — ranging from how they first conceived the idea and met their co-founders, to details of how they secured their first funding and challenges along the way. For the third podcast of our Untold Seed Stories, we chat with Sri Harsha Majety, Co-founder and CEO of Swiggy. (Bengaluru-based hyperlocal food delivery platform. Founded in 2014 by Harsha, Nandan Reddy and Rahul Jaimini, the startup now operates in more than 600 cities in India.
50 minutes | 7 months ago
INSIGHTS #60 - The Scale Playbook: Key Ingredients to Drive Scale & Value Creation
Most of our other podcasts are targeted towards early-stage founders looking to build and scale their companies. But now we are also launching a new podcast mini-series keeping in mind the founders of fast-growth companies. The Scale Playbook, as the name suggests, will help unravel the playbook of large startups for founders to understand how to solve scale challenges across different business functions like engineering, product, sales and strategy through candid conversations with specialists from some of the most successful startups in the ecosystem. A lot has always been said about secret sauces, key factors and the different drivers of value creation and growth to build any business. It’s a subject that has received a lot of attention over the last 30 years, that does not just confine to venture-backed or self-funded private companies but also public companies. For digital companies, in the recent past, Venture Capital firms around the world have started to observe this aspect closely. Including some analysis from within the Accel Community through the lens of digital companies, there are four key drivers that primarily contribute to value creation in a company. In our second episode, Ajay Sethi, Venture Partner at Accel takes us through these four key drivers. Over the years, Ajay has worked with most of our portfolio companies to help them achieve deliberate and sustainable growth. Listen now to learn how Scale, Habit, Brand and Network Effects can contribute to value creation in your company
45 minutes | 7 months ago
INSIGHTS #59 - Untold Seed Stories: First 500 Days of Urban Company
Podcasts have been one of the ways we try to bring out untold stories of startup founders. Continuing with this tradition, we at Accel are excited to introduce our new podcast mini-series: Untold Seed Stories. This new show aims to unravel the first 500 days of our founders’ startup journey — ranging from how they first conceived the idea and met their co-founders, to details of how they secured their first funding and challenges along the way. For the second podcast of our Untold Seed Stories, we chat with Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Co-founder and CEO of Urban Company. (Gurugram-based home services marketplace that offers services in cleaning, painting, spa & beauty, plumbing, carpentry and so on.) Now having its centers in 22 cities across India, Singapore, UAE and Australia and Singapore, Urban Company boasts of 30,000+ service partners and more than 10,000 beauticians.
46 minutes | 8 months ago
INSIGHTS #58 - The Scale Playbook: Scale lessons from Flipkart's Engineering & Strategy Heads
Most of our other podcasts are targeted towards early-stage founders looking to build and scale their companies. But now we are also launching a new podcast mini series keeping in mind the founders of fast-growth companies. The Scale Playbook, as the name suggests, will help unravel the playbook of large startups for founders to understand how to solve scale challenges across different business functions like engineering, product, sales and strategy through candid conversations with specialists from some of the most successful startups in the ecosystem. For our first episode we have two industry stalwarts from Flipkart — one of India’s largest ecommerce platforms. Jeyandran Venugopal is the Chief Product and Technology Officer at Flipkart. He has previously led several engineering and product teams at Myntra, Yahoo and Amazon. Naren Ravula is the Vice President and Head of Strategy at Flipkart. He was leading product strategy and operations at Salesforce and NetApp previously. Today’s episode is focused on building a strong engineering team and strategy. We will also touch upon Flipkart’s Leap Accelerator program which is targeted towards early-stage founders.
50 minutes | 9 months ago
INSIGHTS #57 - Untold Seed Stories: First 500 Days of Ninjacart with Thirukumaran
Thiru is a serial entrepreneur in its truest sense. He founded six startups including a coaching academy and a Biryani cloud kitchen before he landed on Ninjacart - which, interestingly, isn’t the same business as it was initially perceived. Though the first six companies failed to take off, he did not give up and kept charging ahead with one idea after another. His attempt at building these companies came with its set of learnings but his biggest learning of building a large, fast-growing company was from his stint at TaxiForSure. “This is where I learnt how to build a culturally strong startup,” says Thiru about TaxiForSure. After the Ola acquisition, Thiru decided to revisit his last startup, Shout, which was initially a location-based social network app. He decided to convert it into a location-based e-commerce app which eventually became Ninjacart.
48 minutes | 9 months ago
INSIGHTS #56 - Sairee Chahal on building SHEROES
The 56th episode of the INSIGHTS podcast features Sairee Chahal, Founder and CEO of SHEROES- a social networking platform with over 20M women. Sairee is also an Aspen Fellow and serves on the board of Paytm Payments Bank. She has been an entrepreneur for 15+ years. In this episode, Sairee shares insights on building successful products around communitiesTo learn more about Sairee’s inspiring journey, tune in to the latest episode of the Insights Podcast by Accel.
39 minutes | 10 months ago
INSIGHTS #55 - Vetri Vellore on using OKRs to build a resilient and agile business
In this episode, we hear from Vetri on what OKRs are, how they are different from other goal-setting frameworks, how businesses can go about adopting them, and some common challenges and pitfalls to be careful about.To learn more about how you can adopt OKRs as a powerful tool in your organization to increase alignment and engagement around achieving goals, tune in to the latest episode of the Insights Podcast by Accel.Listen hereSpotify Soundcloud Apple Podcasts
50 minutes | 10 months ago
INSIGHTS #54 - Farid & Shashank on starting up in college
In today’s special episode of the INSIGHTS podcast on ‘student entrepreneurship’, we cover the journeys of two well-known founders in the startup community whose entrepreneurial journeys started right from their college days: Shashank Murali from Tapchief and Farid Ahsan from Sharechat.We hear from Shashank and Farid on their early life and college days, how they decided to take up entrepreneurship, how they arrived on the idea they went after, how they worked progressively to build their companies, and finally how they would do it differently if they were to do it all over again. Listen hereSpotify Apple
46 minutes | 10 months ago
INSIGHTS #53 - Neeraj Arora on learnings from his WhatsApp journey
In this episode of the INSIGHTS podcast, we have with us Neeraj Arora, who played a pivotal role at WhatsApp as an early employee and then as the Chief Business Officer. We hear from Neeraj on his early career days, non-obvious career moves, learnings from the WhatsApp journey, the multi-billion dollar Facebook- Whatsapp deal, his experiences from investing in India, and finally some advice for startup founders.Listen hereSpotify Apple Soundcloud
54 minutes | a year ago
INSIGHTS #52 - Scaling your SaaS Startup with Sudheer Koneru and Anand Jain
Listen hereSpotify Apple SoundcloudAnand and Sudheer give a glimpse into their respective startup journeys - skillsets they brought from their previous experiences, new challenges that they were not prepared for, and milestones that marked their journey. The podcast covers all the different phases of their journeys: from identifying the problem to go after and building the MVP to scaling the product, figuring out monetization, and solving for Sales GTM and funding.To learn more about what it takes to build scalable global SaaS companies out of India, tune in to the latest episode of the Insights Podcast by Accel Notes:04:24 – Early days of startup journey11:22 – Picking the right mountain and validating it (Vertical vs Horizontal SaaS)20:40 – Finding the first set of customers29:55 – Business model and monetizing34:55 – Funding the early phase: bootstrapping vs fundraising39:20 – Scaling up phase, expanding geographies48:30 – Advise for early-stage SaaS founders50:30 – Rapid Fire Round
33 minutes | a year ago
INSIGHTS #51 - Alex Lazarow on looking beyond Silicon Valley for global innovation
Listen hereSpotify Apple SoundcloudAlex throws light on how the entrepreneurs from frontier markets are reinventing startup best practices and offering a brand new playbook for innovation that looks different from that of startups in the valley.The podcast centres around the shift of innovation from the silicon valley to the global playground. Alex talks about the incredible stories of entrepreneurs in emerging markets who maneuver challenging environments to build resilient sustainable businesses that create large social impact.To hear more from Alex on global innovation trends, tune in to the latest episode of the Insights Podcast by Accel Notes:02:31 – Genesis of ‘Out-Innovate’, the book04:44 – Future is at the frontier: Innovation increasingly coming from emerging markets08:49 – Social impact of creators16:59 – The camel approach: Building sustainability from Day 120:50 – Going global from the Get-go23:55 – Frontier innovators = Ecosystem builders
31 minutes | a year ago
INSIGHTS #50 - Mukesh Bansal on leveraging physical & mental fitness to achieve peak performance
Listen hereSpotify Apple SoundcloudMukesh shares how his journey as a leader has evolved over the last decade and in times of COVID, what got him to write a book, and how he manages to carve out time to give back to the community.The podcast deals with some of the most relevant topics in today’s times: focusing on holistic health, improving performance, and giving back.Notes:02:10 – Productivity in COVID times03:39 – Settling into the new rhythm of running the company05:36 – Executing fast through decentralized decision making09:36 – Hacks for managing personal physical & mental fitness13:04 – Cracking the performance code: No Limits18:09 – Importance of introspecting about purpose20:39 – Long term strategic thinking and daily healthy habits24:00 – Supporting the Olympic Gold Quest initiative 26:14 – ACT Grants and Bharat Health Stack27:50 – Rapid Fire Round
39 minutes | a year ago
INSIGHTS #49 - The state of the VC ecosystem amidst COVID-19 crisis: Prashanth Prakash & Subrata Mitra
Listen hereSpotify Apple SoundcloudSubrata and Prashanth share an on the ground view of the state of the VC ecosystem in India amidst the COVID situation and what to expect for the road ahead. They share advice for founders as they plan for the tough times ahead along with learnings and observations from previous economic downturns including some of the positive outcomes.The podcast clears the air around what founders can expect the fundraising situation to look like in the next near future.01:27 – Comparing COVID-19 times with dot-com bubble burst and 2008 recession06:23 – Efforts going on in the startup- VC ecosystem around helping fight COVID09:50 – Current state of Indian VC ecosystem amidst COVID13:00 – Assessing risk at a portfolio level16:08 – Actionable advice to startup founders20:20 – Planning for cash runway- time frame and approach21:55 – Advice for founders looking to startup or in pre-PMF stage24:30 – Fast forward: view of 24 months ahead28:43 – Reinventing yourself in crisis times (INSIGHTS #13: 1999 to 2018 — Ashish Hemranjani recaps the BookMyShow journey)30:25 – Fundamental transformation of some sectors31:13 – Dealing with anxiety33:25 – Rapid Fire Round
38 minutes | a year ago
INSIGHTS #48 - How to pick the right idea and launch your SaaS startup?: Shekhar Kirani & Krish Subramanian
Listen hereSpotify Apple SoundcloudThis is a continuation to podcast #46 on SaaS. In this podcast, Shekhar and Krish dive deeper into the best practices for building a SaaS company out of India.Shekhar and Krish share learnings on the important tips to keep in mind for founders looking to build a large SaaS company: spending time on market research to identify the right opportunity in your area of interest, validating the problem through multiple customer interviews, building strong context on the problem before building the MVP and having the willingness to pay conversation early on. The podcast is filled with analogies and examples from Shekhar and Krish’s more than decade-long experience in SaaS. To learn more about things you need to get right to be successful in building a large SaaS company, tune in to the latest episode of the Insights Podcast by AccelListen hereSpotify Apple SoundcloudNotes:01:47 – Climbing the mountain analogy05:18 – The advantage of having a strong industrial experience09:08 – First mover advantage13:32 – India advantage for SaaS startups19:00 – Picking a good founding team21:57 – Co-creating product with initial customers23:30 – Understanding go to market29:28 – Building MVP32:15 – Testing for willingness to pay from early on35:00 – Rapid Fire Round
47 minutes | a year ago
INSIGHTS#47 - How are Startups dealing with the COVID-19 situation?
Listen hereSpotify Apple SoundcloudHow are Indian Startups dealing with the COVID-19 situation?This is a special podcast episode that deals with the tough situation that the world is facing today amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and features how the startup ecosystem in India is responding to it.We have 4 guests on the podcast this time around: Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO & Co-founder of Bounce (two-wheeler scooter sharing solution operating in Bangalore & Hyderabad) Abhiraj Bhal, Founder and CEO of Urban Company (managed market place for all kinds of home services) Suman Gopalan, Chief HR Officer of Freshworks (Software-as-a-Service company focused on customer engagement) Girish Menon, Head of HR, Swiggy (online food ordering and delivery platform)Podcast SummaryOur guests today represent startups employing over ten thousand employees and take out time from their schedule to share some of the best practices for dealing with the disruption to business operations. Vivek, Abhiraj, Suman, and Girish cover some of the most critical themes for business owners which include communicating within the organization and with the customers, prioritizing the health and safety of all stakeholders, planning for business continuity and dealing with challenges that come along the way. To learn more about how these leading startups are dealing with the COVID-19 situation, tune in to the latest episode of the Insights Podcast by AccelListen hereSpotify Apple Soundcloud Notes -02:04 – Vivek on dealing with business continuity challenges at Bounce05:48 – Abhiraj on steps taken to continue Urban Company’s business line10:24 – Suman on the steps they’re taking at Freshworks globally15:12 – Limiting exposure vs. extreme measure at the cost of losing business20:45 – Best practices on communicating to customers21:58 – Girish on educating customers and 2 lakh + delivery executives at scale27:30 – Dealing with challenges in rolling out Business Continuity Plans for work from home35:24 – Keeping employee productivity in check38:40 – Impact of COVID-19 on business plan and runway
40 minutes | a year ago
INSIGHTS#46 - Building SaaS business out of India for the global market: Shekhar Kirani & Krish Subramanian
Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/show/1YQdnQ50mmenzWVA2MBsQy Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/insights-podcast-series/id1364412685The several success stories of Zoho, Freshworks, Browserstack, Icertis who have all reached several hundred million dollars in ARR with most of their product built in India give proof points for the possibility to build large scale SaaS companies coming out of India.Unlike the 90s when software was a one-time sale, the subscription nature of SaaS pricing ensures that the interests of the customer and the software vendor are well aligned. Today, there are over a hundred thousand software companies serving over two thousand categories with over five hundred billion dollars spent on software purchases. The SaaS industry is just one hundred fifty to two hundred billion dollars, so there’s another three hundred billion dollars of traditional on-prem software that needs to be replaced. Another opportunity exists in creating a product for the customers currently being served by custom software solutions built by the large IT services companies. At the same time, new industries are seeing digitization, creating more opportunities for building software. In terms of liquidity as well, SaaS as a sector offers significant options- from an active M&A market and active interest from venture capital and private equity to fund growth to several examples of companies going public. Krish ends by quoting Jason Lemkin, “In a SaaS business, once you cross $10M with good momentum, you basically become unkillable because of the recurring nature of the business”
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