Big Idea

Funding fledgling start-ups can be risky but 100X.VC has cracked the code

With an ambitious plan of investing in 100 start-ups a year, this Mumbai-based venture capital firm is off to a promising start 

100X.VC Founding team (L-R): Vatsal Kanakiya, Yagnesh Sangrajka, Shashank Randev, Sanjay Mehta and Ninad Karpe

Every enterprise story starts with an idea. This one starts with a statistical law — the Power Law. It is a functional relationship between two quantities, where one quantity varies as a power of another. The simplest example of the law is in a square; if you double the length of a side, then the area will quadruple. An intricate example of the same law is early stage start-up investing.

On this foundation, serial entrepreneur Sanjay Mehta built his venture capital firm 100X.VC in July 2019. “In Power Law, you focus on magnitude of success and not frequency of success. This means that chances of losing money will be high but if you get success, it will be in a large magnitude,” he says. From Box8 to Coolberg, Mehta has funded several start-ups in India. After nearly a decade of investing in his individual capacity, he launched 100X.VC to increase his scale from 20 odd investments a year to 100. While tech start-ups are launched almost every day, finding the ones with immense potential, writing them their first cheques and mentoring them to success is no mean task. “To achieve this, I wanted a team in which members can leverage each others’ experiences and competencies,” he says. 

Thus, a league with an impressive record was gathered from investment and entrepreneurship backgrounds. Apart from Mehta, the team includes Ninad Karpe, who previously headed Aptech; Yagnesh Sanghrajka, the former CFO for MT Educare and partner at Bessemer Ventures; Shashank Randev, a veteran investor and advisor to start-ups, and Mehta’s nephew Vatsal Kanakiya who doubles up as CTO and is part of the investment team at his family office Mehta Ventures.

For a new start-up, apart from a team and a good idea, the most important requirement is funding. But, without a proven track record, convincing a seed investor can prove to be a challenge. It is here that 100X.VC comes into the picture. “In India, there are not many investors who curate leads. We saw that gap and our idea was to become a feeder to the VC ecosystem,” explains Mehta.