We are currently focused only on companies in agriculture, skill development, healthcare, and education sectors. Will we consider investing outside these sectors?
We are not passive providers of capital. To add value beyond capital, we need to streamline our focus — which is why, for the time being, we would like to focus on these 4 sectors.
We have early-stage companies approaching us all the time. At what point in their life cycle do you think entrepreneurs should reach out to us?
Menterra is focused on funding companies that have a clear aim and strategy to deliver impact at the scale of 1 million+ customers. We are more likely to fund companies that have established product-to-market fit and have stable offering and model.
In areas such as medical devices, we may even consider companies that are yet to show significant revenue traction. In fact, our partner, Villgro, provides funding and support to these pre-product and pre-revenue stage companies.
We also consider early-stage companies that are launched by serial entrepreneurs who have a deep understanding of their sectors and its core functional areas.
What deal sizes do we participate in? And how much funding will we give to our companies?
Our lowest funding to date has been ₹1 crore. We have also done milestone-linked funding of up to ₹8 crores in multiple rounds.
Working closely with a core, aligned group of co-investors and downstream partners, we have the capability to do much larger rounds as well.
Many entrepreneurs have asked me about the metrics we use to evaluate companies we’re interested in.
Usually, we prefer companies that have teams with diverse backgrounds. Such organizations usually possess a variety of skills and competencies, which are essential to build a sustainable business model.
Unfortunately, most companies fail due to their poor execution discipline and lack of scale-optimized processes — making it critical for us.
We don’t just need problem solvers, we need people who are solving the big social challenges for underserved communities. Impact, improved farm productivity, learning outcomes, and preventive healthcare have to be at the core of such solutions.
Apart from our impact filter, we also look for committed entrepreneurs with a scalable business model.
What I find great is the way we bring patient capital -- enabling scale while balancing profits and impact; not by simply buying revenue or growth. A great example of this is our seven-year long partnership with Biosense.
Okay, but how do we help companies that are already doing this? Only through money?
You can’t just throw money at the problem and expect it to be solved. You need to have the right balance of talent, strategy, funding, and execution. Through our stellar advisory network, we have demonstrated success in putting these very building blocks to help our companies scale. In fact, you can call it our Villgro heritage — which has been established through several years of bringing ideas to scale, with a host of social entrepreneurs.
Isn’t impact a slightly loaded word? It is vague, relative and misunderstood. Are we restricting ourselves to only those solutions that reach people at the bottom of the pyramid when we say this?
We believe in sustainable businesses that touch millions of lives. Business models or organizations that cater to well-off customers while delivering similar quality products and services to lower-income customers, are more likely to deliver impact at scale. Arvind Eye Hospital is a very good example of this balance between sustainability and impact.
And the entrepreneur is also committed to delivering not only revenue and profits but also impact.
In fact, we reach a common consensus as a team on the theory of change, impact goals, and metrics before investing and tracking various predefined parameters.
According to me, these shouldn’t be just monthly data points for the enterprises but should actually be reflected in their plans and incentives.
Absolutely! Which is why we work closely with entrepreneurs to ensure they deliver impact in a sustainable manner — for themselves and the economy.
On that note, let’s get out there and find the next set of visionary entrepreneurs!