As Co-founder of India’s first ecommerce ‘unicorn’ Flipkart, Binny Bansal didn’t just build India best-known startup, he also inspired a whole generation of entrepreneurs. His story is no longer just about building a wildly successful startup but also being a part of the Indian startup ecosystem in more ways than one – as a mentor and more importantly, as an active investor.
While still at Flipkart, Binny began backing a variety of startups as an angel investor. Since then, he has invested in 25 startups. But what’s worth noting is that he has backed several startups multiple times – a clear reflection of his belief in the problem they are solving, and in their potential to generate returns.
In fact, in the January-March 2019 quarter, Binny emerged as the most active angel investor in the country, having made five investments in just three months. That’s quite the pace compared with the five investments he made through an entire year in 2015 when he first began investing. He followed that up with six investments in 2016, three in 2017, and seven in 2018. Strikingly, most startups that Binny has invested in are working on futuristic technology to fundamentally change the way things have been done in the past – whether in diagnostics, learning, or even in cooking. (One of Binny’s most recent investments was in Bengaluru-based Nymble Labs, which is building a robot that can cook, named Julia, quite possibly after pioneer TV chef Julia Child.)
While his investment portfolio spans several sectors, a few emerge as favourites. One is healthtech, given that he has made 10 rounds of investments in five startups (see infographic below). Another is ed-tech.
This could well have more to do with the tech itself than health or education per se. Of course, these sectors provide plentiful opportunities to clock solid returns. For instance, as per IBEF data, India’s healthcare sector is expected to reach $372 billion by 2022.
SigTuple: Four-year-old health-tech startup SigTuple, in which Binny has invested thrice, is what is called a ‘deep tech’ startup. It is building a diagnostic fabric comprising medical devices, developing software used in diagnostics and diagnostic setups, and providing infrastructure for diagnostics services.
It is also building screening solutions to help faster diagnosis of a patient’s condition through AI-powered analysis of visual data like X-rays, ECGs, MRIs, etc. They also equip local public health centres and clinics with SigTuple Smart Screening Tech to enable quicker diagnosis. SigTuple’s smart device AI100 enables digitising different biological samples like blood, urine, and semen with a single click.
On his investment in SigTuple, Binny had remarked, “SigTuple transcends the space of tech-enabled healthcare. It is actually creating the technology – ground up – for making healthcare affordable and accessible, and I am very excited to be partnering with them on this journey.” – Yourstory