What it feels like to lose money as a startup investor

A man discussing about Strategies for Successful Startup Investments: How to Invest in Startup Companies and Mitigate Risks

How to Invest in Startups Companies and Mitigate Risks: Strategies for Successful Startup Investments

Investing in startups can be a thrilling and potentially lucrative venture, but carries inherent risks. There is always a degree of risk involved and startup investors must come to terms with the possibility of losing money. As a startup investor, it is crucial to understand that not all investments yield positive results. 

Losing money as a startup investor can evoke feelings of disappointment and frustration. Investors may feel frustrated by the lack of control over outcomes, particularly when they held high expectations for the startup’s success. Coping with disappointment is an integral aspect of the investment journey, necessitating resilience and a long-term outlook. Building resilience allows investors to bounce back from losses, reassess their investment strategies, and identify new opportunities. It is through persistence and optimism that investors can continue to navigate the startup investment landscape. 

Investors could face a significant financial impact if the startups don’t grow in the desired phase. Investors must assess their risk appetite and be prepared for the possibility of losing their entire investment. It is crucial to diversify one’s investment portfolio to mitigate risk. Managing expectations and maintaining a long-term investment strategy can help navigate the financial impact of losses. 

Encountering setbacks as a startup investor offers invaluable learning experiences. It presents investors with the chance to introspect on their investment choices & pinpoint potential shortcomings in their evaluation methods.  

So, the following are some steps that investors can follow how to invest in startup companies to avoid losses:

  • Conduct thorough Due Diligence: Conducting comprehensive due diligence processes like evaluating the startup’s business model, market potential, competitive landscape, and financial projections & scrutinising the management team’s background, experience and track record will give a better understanding towards investing in a startup. 
  • Seek Professional Advice: Investors should consider seeking advice from professionals such as lawyers, and financial advisors who specialise in startup investments. They offer valuable guidance on legal and financial matters, investment structures, and potential risks.
  • Diversify portfolio: Investors should widen their investments across multiple startups from various industries, sectors and stages of development to mitigate their risk. Diversification can help reduce the impact of any single investment failure. 
  • Seek a supportive community: Join communities or investor networks where you can connect with other startup investors, which opens opportunities for collaboration, knowledge sharing and potential co-investment opportunities and learning from experience investors can enhance their investment acumen. 
  • Network and attend events: Investors can build a strong network by attending networking events, and industry conferences and engaging with entrepreneurs, fellow investors and industry experts. Networking provides valuable insights and potential investment opportunities.
  • Monitor investments: The investors should actively monitor the progress of the startups to stay updated with the performance, financial reports and key milestones. Regularly communicate with the management team to stay informed about any developments or challenges they encounter. 

These steps could help investors minimise their chances of losing money by not investing in startups that are not up to the mark performances or don’t have a proper go-to-strategy growth plan. These steps of intense deal flow screening, due diligence and professional advice would make it difficult for startups to raise funds from investors. The funding winter has made tasks more difficult how to find investors for startups in India. During this time, startups have to be solid with their growth plans and optimise the usage of the funds to avoid any unnecessary burns.  

Losing money as a startup investor can be a challenging and emotional experience but following the right steps and strategies can help them avoid losing money. It is important to approach such losses with resilience and view them as learning opportunities. 

“Setbacks are inherent part of investment journey, and it is through the experiences one can ultimately become a wiser and more successful startup investor.”


How KVS is mitigating risk for its investor?

We at Krystal Ventures Studio have been interacting with several angel investors and have figured out that there are better ways to how to invest in startup companies to minimise the loss of money invested. 

There are lots of risks involved in investing in early-stage startups by investors. The risk includes lack of clarity on exits, lack of tracking of the performance of the startups and dependence on the performance of a single company. These risks are here mitigated by:

  1. Portfolio-based approach for investments – The investments are made sector-wise with a set portfolio approach of a certain number of startups along with a proper investment thesis. 
  2. Tie-up/ partnerships with exit partners for the next round of investment – Tie up with exit partners to exit after a certain time period with profitable exits. 
  3. Ecosystem approach – Build a comprehensive ecosystem of advisors, partners, suppliers, distributors, and trans-national relationships including its custom advisory program 
  4. A customized advisory program followed by portfolio management for tracking – Once the companies are selected for the portfolio, the company’s performance is tracked with customized advisory programs along with regular tracking at a regular time period.

Authored by Harish Kumaar S, Financial Analyst at Krystal Ventures Studio

Also Read: Why startup as an asset class makes sense as part of a wealth manager portfolio

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