“How Investors Add Value” – Interview with Shruti Gandhi, Managing Partner at Array Ventures
If you’ve been following along with FemgineerTV, you’ll have learned what the investor-founder dynamic is like from the viewpoint of an entrepreneur. In the last episode, I sat down with the CEO & co-founder of StyleSeat, Melody McCloskey, to understand what it takes to raise capital at the various stages of a startup, from Seed to Series A and beyond.
In today’s episode, we’re going to get the opposite perspective by diving into an investor’s mindset. We’ll try to understand what compels them to write a check and, more importantly, how investors add value beyond a check.
(That’s right, they’re not just a source of capital; they can be an indispensable partner!)
I’ve invited Shruti Gandhi to chat with us. Shruti is the founding and managing partner at Array VC, a fund that invests in early stage startups. She began her career as software engineer. Since then, she has been a startup founder and an investor in five funds; now, she has started her own.
Having been in many roles, Shruti understands the importance of capital, but she also knows firsthand that founders need help beyond the check.
During our conversation, you’ll learn:
- How investors can help you accelerate your company’s sales
- How investors test a founder’s commitment to their product and company
- How to work with different types of investors: corporate, institutional, and angels
- Why investors look for founders who have been an early employee at a startup before striking out on their own
- How to dig into an investor’s thesis to find out if they are a right fit for you
What I found most refreshing about this episode is how Shruti shares learnings from both successful and “failed” experiences. The failures have taught her the importance of investors who are helpful to founders in a variety of functions.
This willingness and ability to help is something we should all be looking for in the people we choose to partner with!
So if you’re an early employee at a startup or a founder, watch today’s episode and learn how to scout the investors who are going to add value to your company beyond the check.
After you’ve watched the video, let us know what your favorite part was in the blog comments. What other ways can investors add value?
In the show we mention a deck that Shruti has put together to help founders who are getting ready to pitch investors check it out: Pitch Ready: Getting into the Mind of a Venture Capitalist.
Stay tuned for the next of FemgineerTV in November. I’ll be hosting Danielle Morrill, the Co-Founder and CEO of Mattermark. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to know when it’s out!