Battling against his own spouse, ShopClues founder Sandeep Aggarwal now seeks to become an entrepreneur-investor in the country. He has allocated a ₹20 crore corpus for personal investments in about nine to twelve startups for the year and is currently engaged in the development of a home office. He further plans to establish an entity, much larger than his startup investments last year.
Sandeep has been a prolific investor in the year 2016, pouring capital into a total of seven startups. These include Wydr, Shopsity, Curo Healthcare, Dekoruma, Data Guise, Give Club, and Duriana, all of which grabbed about ₹3 crore. All these investments were done in a rather random manner, depending on the startup which caught his eye. However, this setting aside of capital as an investment amount is an evolution from that to a more streamlined exercise.
Once the incorporation of his family office concludes, all the future funding will be channelized through the source. Moreover, if some interesting and unusual projects pop up, Sandeep is open to enlarge his investment corpus of ₹20 crores to an even larger amount. He is presently looking for startups pioneering in domains such as healthcare, technology, retail, and data science app development. His focus will be towards ventures building products out of small cities and towns.
In talks with ET, Aggarwal detailed his plans and said,
If the market recovery turns out to be better than expected, I will increase the size of the corpus. If I reach a situation where I believe Rs 20 crore is not enough, that would be a good problem to have. I want to be in that situation.
In regard to the situation at ShopClues, the company’s co-founders, Sanjay Sethi and Radhika Aggarwal are engaged in a trenchant dispute with Sandeep. He has imposed charges of withdrawal of voting rights by the duo. The issue has now been dragged to the court. While the duo has refuted the accusations and expects support from the board, Sandeep is holding onto his point and fighting back.
Since the situation at ShopClues has intensified, Sandeep now plans to strictly focus on Droom, his second startup. Founded in April 2014 in Silicon Valley, Droom is one of the largest marketplaces to buy and sell, new and used automobiles and automobile services. The entity came into existence post the success of ShopClues and has been running a successful business for a while now. Adding to that, Sandeep said,
Droom is my bread and butter, I am not looking to create another venture capital fund. I am putting my money where my passion is.
Having a stature of an entrepreneur, his investments activities will not affect his original character. He mentioned that turning into an investor does not necessarily mean he’ll quit exploring ideas and not continue his role as an entrepreneur. Sandeep has been in talks with three venture capital funds to invest in as a limited partner but refused to name the funds and amount proposed for investment.