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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

“Crafting Bharat: A Podcast Series” released its third episode with Sanket Shah, CEO of InVideo

The startup industry of India is flourishing, especially rising entrepreneurial drive amongst the younger generation of India. With numerous success stories, the Indian startup ecosystem has witnessed a remarkable increase in venture capital investments, attracting both local and global investors. 

The “Crafting Bharat – A Startup Podcast Series” powered by AWS, and an initiative by NewsReach, in association with VCCircle, unlocks the secrets behind these successful entrepreneurs’ journeys aiming to equip aspiring entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts with invaluable insights. The podcast series is hosted by Gautam Srinivasan, famed for hosting a diverse range of TV and digital programs, currently consulting editor at CNBC (India), CNN-News18, Mint, HT Media, Forbes India, and The Economic Times.

Given the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) in today’s technological context, a seasoned entrepreneur Sanket Shah, CEO of InVideo, is changing the way people create video content. In the Crafting Bharat Podcast Series, Shah talks about his founder journey, building AI enabled video editing software and upcoming trends in the industry. 

Explore the tales of Indian Startup founders’ transformation from dreams to reality, navigating challenges to seize opportunities through the Crafting Bharat Podcast Series. 

Segment 1: The Incubator

Between the 2012 to 2017 phase how did your seed of an idea for Invideo germinate, considering you had founded Visify Books and MassBlurb (with Pankit) in the meanwhile, and how did it evolve further in the 2017 to 2019 period? Give us the highlights when it comes to the ups and downs? 

I was thinking about starting a business in India while I was in the US, but I think that’s not how it works because to do a business in India then you need much deeper Indian insights. You need to be in India and work here, you can’t sit somewhere else and think that I will start a recurring business in India. In 2014, there was NACH where you needed to fill a form and submit it, for them to initiate recurring payments allowing you to start a recurring business. That was my biggest mistake to think that way. I never got a closure from Visify Books. I thought that videos should not be made like this and sometime in 2017 I started InVideo.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wGPR0cphGI

Your seed round in May 2018 and the second one in October 2019 were tepid. But the third round in Feb 2020 brought in $2.5 million, that helped you launch your automated assistant, then in October 2020 you got another $15 million as Series A, and then the biggie, $35 million in July 2021 for Series B. What changed in 2020 that drove investors to you?

First, We operate in a bottomless market; the market is extremely large. I believe that over a billion people in the world are going to create videos and I don’t think there is any debate there. Second, it comes down to confidence in the founder. Track record and talking to the founder gives that confidence to the investors to invest.

 I read somewhere that you are now the largest prosumer SaaS company in Asia. What are the lessons that you have learnt in scaling up Invideo from a tech standpoint?

If the creators can create videos in a very natural environment that’s what I think gets to a billion users. It is a series of stability, how it’s distributed and how it can all be tied together. The future of all the software is in the browser and it is also across all devices. Our entire system works on AWS and the scaling was very smooth. AWS supported us in a very early stage.

Segment 2: The Accelerator 

You met Sam Altman of OpenAI recently. What did you two talk about? 

I met him for over 2 hours, and it was a fun conversation. We briefly talked about what to expect in the future. There will be a requirement of more electricity for advancement in the world of AI, which hopefully will get solved by nuclear fusion. Second, is that compute has become extremely important.

What do startup founders need to focus on when thinking of the risk? 

It’s very risky. I do not think you can do this journey for money. You pick up this journey for fun. The gratification point of this journey is not the money you will get later, because most likely you might not earn money.

Is it a better approach to release a good product and improve it to perfection with feedback received? 

In my opinion there needs to be a judgment and a time to launch but the earliest you go out is the best for the business.

The startup ecosystem in India has grown tremendously in the last decade. The increasing adoption of digitization coupled with government initiatives have opened new avenues for budding entrepreneurs. 

Stay tuned to the Crafting Bharat Podcast Series as we bring you these inspirational entrepreneurs for insightful and candid discussion with Gautam Srinivasan.     

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