(00:01:13) "I like to speak to Founder who clearly understands what he's going to do, why he's going to do, how he's going to do, and what is his target." - Igor Ryabenkiy (00:02:58) "But even if you put all the things together and everything looks perfect, possibilities that it will be not successful. We always have business risk." - Igor Ryabenkiy (00:07:36) "I was even more convicted because he contacted me afterwards and asked if I can speak to him time to time and he will tell me what's going on and if I can advise him on some matters." - Igor Ryabenkiy
Igor Ryabenkiy, a successful investor who has backed eight unicorns, recently shared his approach to venture capital investment in startups on the Top VC podcast. In this episode, Igor emphasizes the importance of founders having a clear understanding of their goals, plans, and target market. He also highlights key factors such as scalability, market size, industry landscape, business model, and customer approach that impact his investment decisions.
One of the key traits Igor looks for in founders is their ability to clearly articulate their vision and strategy. He believes that when founders can effectively explain what they are going to do, why they are going to do it, how they are going to do it, and what their target is, there is a good chance they will be able to bring their startup to market successfully. This clear vision and focus on the start are crucial for building a strong leadership team and attracting customers.
However, having a clear vision is not the only factor that determines a startup's success. Igor acknowledges that even if all the necessary factors, such as a scalable idea, a large market, a solid business model, and early traction, are in place, there is still a business risk involved. External factors, competition, mismanagement, and other challenges can lead to a startup's failure. Igor shares an example of a company he invested in that wanted to do Instagram-style video, but was overshadowed by Instagram's release of the same feature on the same day. This highlights the importance of considering potential risks and challenges when making investment decisions.
The speed at which Igor makes investment decisions varies depending on the founder's ability to communicate their vision and build trust. In some cases, he has made a decision within the first five minutes of meeting a founder, while in other cases, it has taken several months. Igor emphasizes the importance of personal connections and trust-building in the investment process. He shares an example of a founder who approached him after a startup contest and asked for advice, which eventually led to a strong relationship and investment opportunity.
In conclusion, Igor's approach to venture capital investment in startups is based on founders having a clear understanding of their goals, plans, and target market. While factors such as scalability, market size, industry landscape, business model, and customer approach are important, there is always a business risk involved. Founders who can effectively articulate their vision, navigate challenges, and build trust have a higher chance of securing investments. Igor's emphasis on personal connections and trust-building highlights the importance of building strong relationships in the startup ecosystem.