Inflection point ventures is a sub-initiative of CXO Genie. Given the interest expressed by CXO’s in wanting to engage and encourage entrepreneurs, CXO Genie decided to provide a customized platform to do just that and more. A group of very active and enthusiastic CXO Genie members decided to come together and thus came into being, Inflection Point Ventures (IPV). This sub-group also forms the core team which carries out an initial assessment of recommended start-ups.
IPV is an independent forum with over 500 CXO Genie members & HNIs, with the purpose of providing an opportunity to create wealth for its members. As with other CXO Genie platforms, this platform aims to leverage and apply the distributed knowledge of the members, in a collective manner, to a given investment opportunity. Since there is no need of intermediaries in deal sourcing, evaluating and investing in startups, we expect to reduce the cost, time and effort significantly. It also allows a new investor to start with a small investment while still making a meaningful value proposition for the startup with combined funding from various members.
Started in 2013, CXO Genie is a platform for CXO’s (CFOs, CHROs, CSCOs, CEO’s etc), that aims to solve real life problems being faced by its members, across industries and related to their line of work. It is enabled through a mobile-based platform (Both IOS and Android) that connects member CFOs on a real-time basis and typically is able to solve a given challenge within 15 minutes of being posted. Today it enables CFOs to take decisions at an extraordinary speed that has not been possible earlier, making use of over 5000 years of combined relevant professional experience.
As a further elaboration of point number 1, the USP and related advantages are laid out below:
a. Diverse network of more than 500 distinguished Senior Professionals spanning across various Geographies, Industries and areas of Expertise that are available real-time to evaluate any given startup (e.g Due diligence, Funding, Business Knowledge, mentoring and solving various problems)
b. Low cost to be a part of the network, given distributed nature, which would be almost half of any other significant angel group.
c. Higher chances of success, as the evaluation, is done by experts in the fields of Business, investing as well as functional areas.
d. Ability to start investing with smaller sums as the funding is pooled by the group, still making it meaningful for a given startup.
e. Ability to help the startup grow and take them to the next level by providing them additional access to customers, guidance, and mentorship along with funding.
f. Ability to refer to startups that are already known to this forum members, and give an opportunity to do a proprietary deal.
The idea is to keep the costs as low as possible, while still making the initiative sustainable. Being a professional group, meant for the serious members who can identify “Value in any given initiative/Startup” the costs would need to be shared among the members. The cost would include the cost of the analyst, support staff, IT platform/infrastructure as required, hiring consultants etc. and also cover for admin expenses (example meeting expenses). A fund is expected to be created as annual subscription from the members. However, for any potential member to evaluate the forum, an initial period of 1 month would be free of cost.
As an extension to point number 1, one could evaluate being a part of this forum if you are serious about one or more of the following objectives:
a. Want to Learn from peers about how to evaluate startups and investing in general.
b. Want to create wealth through investing in startups.
c. Want to teach and share your knowledge, expertise, and experience related to investments with
other members of the forum
d. Want to test your entrepreneurial skills while mentoring and guiding startups in various aspects like solving challenges, helping scale up etc.
e. Want to evaluate a startup as an innovative solution provider either for their business or the investors personally.
To be a member in IP Investor, the individual should be either:
1. A member of any of the forums under “CXO Genie” umbrella e.g. CXO Genie, CFO Genie, CHRO Genie etc.
2. Referred by an existing member of IP Investor.
The membership to IP Investor is however subject to ground rules of this forum. The member should have a complete profile available to the CXO Genie team (Example contact details, PAN Card, Aadhar Card details etc) However, the management of “CXO Genie” reserves the right to allow any members to join or continue with the membership.
We plan to provide the following benefits to the members:
1. Access to startup founders, Pitches and Webinars
2. Access to evaluation reports prepared by In-House Analyst
3. Huddle call with other interested members/founders
4. Quarterly update call/status note from invested startups (One common call with founders for all the members of the IP investor)
Yes, you can use your CXO Genie points for “IP investor” related costs as well. Members can also earn a point for Investing, Referring new members, Be Helping startups with business, mentorship time. The points can also be redeemed to pay for the annual subscription charges too.
Given the scope of the activities and keeping in mind the wide geographical spread of our members, we intend to meet via Webinars once a month. This would help in saving travel time as well as enable participation of members across various geographies. However, to enable networking and to know other members personally, IP investor will organize regular meetings as well, once annually in each of the three regions. These meetings will be held in Bengaluru (For South), Gurgaon (for North) and Mumbai (for West).
The core committee is formed within the members of IP investor who is willing to:
1. Commit a certain amount of minimum time for regular operations of the group and
2. Have expertise in required areas like due diligence, Valuations, Business, Industry or other areas and therefore takes up an area of responsibility either for the core group or for a given investment.
The core group is intended to be a flexible group and members may come in or move out depending upon their individual situation and time commitment available.
We do not encourage using the forum for marketing or commercial purposes unless any member query is specifically related to services provided by your Company. In any case, if you do wish to advertise (only for the company you work for), then we allow the same on the donation of 200 points to CXO Vault.
Members enjoy the freedom to initiate & drive discussions. However, we strongly recommend, not to seek confidential company information or share on the forum. Other members/ admin do not take the onus of maintaining non-disclosure of the same.
Given that the new members have an evaluation period without any subscription charges, members not wanting to continue with the subscription of “IP Investor” can be rotated out of the forum.
As with other CXO Genie platforms, only posts related to Startup investments (and learning) can be shared in the group. Discussions related to startups are allowed. However, it is prohibited to share Forwards, Jokes, Images, wishing on birthdays, anniversaries, on festivals, National holidays, political opinions, etc. This helps us maintain focus on the objective of the forum. In case a member feels strongly about sharing any forward, the member must donate 200 points for each such share. We encourage members to congratulate or welcome members on a 1:1 basis only, thereby connecting with them on a personal level.
In case anyone wants to join IP Investor, she/he needs to be referred to the forum by any one of our existing members. They have an option to take an exclusive membership to IP Investor without being a part of “CXO Genie”. A Note can be sent to email@example.com introducing the new member.
Yes, we strongly advise that one gets to understand the basic tenets and principles of Investing. The following books are highly recommended for anyone wanting to learn investing concepts and evaluating startups.
– Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or how to build the future by Peter Thiel, founder PayPal
– Hot Seat: The startup CEO Guidebook by Dan Shapiro.
– Buffett Beyond Value by Prem Jain.
– The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
– The Millionaire next door…By Thomas J
– The Snowball..by Alice Schroeder
– Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal
– The Lean startup..By Eric Ries
– Think and Grow rich..by Napoleon Hill
– The startup playbook: Secrets of fastest growing startups by David Kidder.
– Members can refer other good books too, and we can add them here.
Given the nature of the forum membership (CFO, CHRO’s, CEO’s etc.), the starting focus would be limited to investment in startups, while listed stocks would remain outside the purview of this group.
This is also keeping in mind that many of the members themselves hold senior positions in listed companies. However, other asset classes can be added over time as required – Debt, Real estate, Others.
We would like to keep the process simple for everyone and therefore any member can invest directly as an individual. Here the transaction, terms and conditions would be directly between the member and the start-up (With guidance coming from the Core leadership team of IP Investor), example: Standard SHA terms, Valuation, evaluation sheets etc.
Alternatively, for a given investment, the members can come together to form an LLP specific to that asset. In this case, the individual investors invest in the LLP and this LLP would then invest in the Startup. Either the startup or the individuals take the responsibility to manage the administrative work and compliances for the given LLP.
This is being outlined in the below chart.
Any IP Investor can refer a startup to the forum, provided they know the founders personally. As a belief, we prefer proprietary investments at reasonable valuations vs startups at a much higher valuation. A link would be provided to all members that can be shared with the startup for them to put in their application for consideration by the core committee which will evaluate the given startup on a defined set of evaluation criteria.
As a clarification, we do not intend to put any restriction to any startup based on Industry, Technology etc.
When a start-up is referred to IP Investor, a first level evaluation is done by the in-house Analyst, basis which a scorecard will be released to the steering committee. Basis the scorecard, the steering committee evaluates the viability of the business/investment. If it passes the criteria, the start-up is then invited to pitch to a larger forum.
Genie investor offers multiple unique benefits to startups and the below can be your pitch to them (You can also request Sumati for a detailed note that has been prepared, to be sent to the Startup):
a. Ability to raise funding from a set of Mature and seasoned investors with diverse professional experience in handling businesses.
b. Opportunity to get advice and Mentorship from experts in an area they need help in. (Example Scaling up, Legal advice, Advice on business operational issues, HR matters, Talent acquisition etc.)
c. Help in early identification and solutions for potential roadblocks and risks. Opportunity to get best practices from the industry.
d. Opportunity to get CXO’s as their retail customers and make them their ambassadors.
e. Opportunity to get corporate /B2B customers as the forum represents various CXO of businesses across Industries.
To begin with, we will have a standing call at 11 am on every 1st, 3rd or 5th Saturday of the month. This frequency can be increased as required. The topics that can be covered in this monthly call are:
a. Presentations by Startup founders.
b. Learning sessions with experts, (example: Bitcoins and Block Chain)
c. Discussions/Huddle calls on various topics/brainstorming.
Given that startup investing is a high-risk activity, it is important that the investments are done in a very defined manner to be able to weed out the high-risk candidates. This is proposed to be achieved by using a defined set of principles of investing. This set of principles is being developed upon the wealth of literature published (Refer Question on various items of literature) as well as leaning on the experience of the steering committee (That would comprise of investment professionals selected both internally and externally). This set of principles would be incorporated into the evaluation Sheet to be published by the analyst at IP investor.
Core committee along with the referring member (or Lead Member) leads the discussion basis feedback after the webinar. Please note that the valuation agreed upon will be the same for all investing members.
If you are opting to be an individual investor (Must have filled the feedback form on the given startup), IP investor will connect you to the lead Investor who will coordinate information from the founders directly. However, at no point will IP investor be held responsible for the confidentiality of such information or the custodian of the same.
As an individual investor, you will have the right to be able to sell or buy shares as per your own discretion, at any given point in time.
a. One should keep the discussions confidential, not to be shared in public or otherwise outside the forum.
b. While members share their opinions and have discussions on various items, the ultimate investment decision lies solely on the investing member’s discretion, and therefore “Inflection Point Ventures” or “CXO Genie” is not responsible for any investments done by the members.
c. Members may choose to invest or have B2B deals or both with the startup.
d. The onus of managing ‘conflict of interest’ lies with the member and not IPV.
e. Similarly, “Inflection Point Ventures” or “CXO Genie” does not proclaim or guarantee any returns, it is a collective effort with no recourse to any member/forum.
f. The member does not owe his/her earnings to the group, vis a vis the group is not liable to make good a loss in investment made.
For information on CXO Genie, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details
• Your Full Name
• Current Designation & Company
• Email ID- Personal and Professional
• Mobile Number for us to contact you.
• Expression of Interest- In brief do express your requirements which you believe CXO Genie can help you in.