Saturday, March 19, 2016

Arun Kumar talks about Help Find My Agent

Interview Questions for Entrepreneurs

Where are you from originally?

India, Tamil Nadu State, moved to Dallas TX in 2007 to start my US operations, I originally started my parent company CAP Digisoft Solutions Pvt Ltd in 2003 in India. Now my parent has 200 employees, serving 1000+ clients across USA, we provide 3 different services to small and mid-size companies. Also we have two B2C brands.

What is the idea behind your startup?

91% of them turn to their phones for ideas in the middle of a task. 82% of smartphone users say they consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make in a store. As search engines becomes more dependable for consumers, service providers are struggling to get on top of search results; there are lot of quality and dependable service providers out there who do a great service but lack in online marketing, my goal is to identify those quality service providers and connect with their clients or consumers.

Recently started – the goal is to connect home buyers or sellers to the local real estate agent who could help them to buy or sell with peace. Main reason is, a quality agent could save up to 7% to a home owner, so goal is to connect good real estate agents with how buyers. I will be very happy all day long if I save up to 7% for a home buyers or sellers.

What need does it fulfill?

Based on our records I can say that, people decide to buy or sell home based on things happen to their life, home buying or selling is a very emotional move and it is an art. If you want to get good financial and emotional benefits, you need to have strong knowledge, if you don’t, you need to have strong real estate agent at your side. According to the California Association of Realtors, 70% of buyers, and 75% of sellers found their agent on the internet. These local trends in California are increasingly occurring nationwide.

Our solution is to fulfill online home buyer’s need to connect them to local real estate agent. Other service providers can list a fresh agent in top if they get paid, but our services are 100% based on agent performance and that is what make us unique. We get paid only when agent closes a deal, so our goal is to provide a quality agent referral.

What exactly does it do? will connect home buyers or sellers to the local real estate agent with in seconds, we collect few inputs from home buyers or sellers like which area they want to buy and what is their budget, once we have this information our software will automatically select agents from our network, we have handpicked agents for each zipcode and we have high qualification to join our network. Within few seconds home owner can talk to Agent and Agent will be provided with home buyers details.

Who is it for? is for any home buyers or sellers who is looking for experienced local real estate agent, we also provide a “FREE 75-point check list to select an agent” guide for our users.

What was the most challenging aspect of starting up?

Getting their first 20 clients and first 20 employees, most challenging part is to match the client growth with supply. Any startup has to cross several stages. As a startup key area entrepreneurs struggle is for marketing. How to reach their clients is the key challenge they will have to answer? 

What is the next step for you and your business? proved its concept in Dallas, TX. Now it’s time for us to launch in other TX cities, we are focus more on online organic lead generation. Once we have established a successful process for organic lead generation, then we will launch other cities pretty soon.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?

Famous quote says ““Necessity is the mother of invention.” Like it says, necessity is the reason you need to come out of your comfort zone, necessity is the reason you need to invest your time to learn about business operations and growth, necessity is the reason you need to know more about your buyers, I can keep adding the list, but “comfort zone is the number one enemy of entrepreneurs”, if they win their comfort zone then sky is their limit. Investors are waiting for dynamic entrepreneurs, if they do a good job investor will find them.

What resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?

In this digital world, you could find all most all kind of information online, but I would like to highlight only two companies at this time, the organization you need to be associated to learn about marketing, we all think digital is the only option we have now, but that is not 100% true, based on your service or product other marketing methods could be most effective, mainly for startups, website you need to be associated to learn how to use social media to reach your clients.

Volition Capital by Jake Colognesi—Venture Capital Profile

What is Volition Capital?
Volition is an early growth equity firm investing in founder and management-owned technology businesses.  We typically invest in companies that have raised less than $5M of funding and yet have achieved some strong growth traction (run rate revenue ~$5M+) and are now looking to bring on an institutional investor to fund growth initiative and liquidity needs.  We are generally a minority investor so we are not looking to acquire businesses outright but instead partner with existing teams.  Ideally, we are looking to partner with founders who want to stay in the business and grow the company.  

Where do you invest?
The Volition team is based out of Boston, and we actively invest nationwide.

How big is your fund and what size checks do you write?
Our current fund is $170M, and we write checks that range from $5M to $20M, with our sweet spot in the $10M to $15M range.   We are actively looking for new investment opportunities. 

What sector do you pursue?
From a sector standpoint, Volition will pursue anything in the B2B or B2C technology realm.  We invest in mostly software rather than hardware, but we are sector agnostic within those parameters.  Our portfolio includes companies in e-commerce, marketing technology, insurance technology, and other areas.  We are  always open to looking at different opportunities.  The companies we seek tend to be ~$5M+ in run rate revenue and growing quickly, often times ~50-100%+.

Do you take board seats?
Yes. We take board seats in all our companies.

How do you handle syndication?
We lead all of our investments. We do co-invest with like-minded investors but generally aren’t actively looking to form a syndicate. 

What do you offer the portfolio company beyond funding?
There’s a myriad of ways in which we help companies.  Common to all, though, we offer access to other executives in our portfolio and see this as a key value driver.  Additionally, we’re very focused on a certain stage in the company life cycle and have developed strong pattern recognition whereby companies in different sectors can gain an appreciation for how common hurdles can be jumped over.  Our companies encounter many of the same problems, so it’s crucial to leverage learnings from past experiences for today’s partners.

Are you currently invested in Texas companies?

We don’t have any current investments in Texas but that’s not for a lack of trying.  We are looking at Austin where there is a tremendous amount of tech talent and smart early-stage investors.  We certainly want to spend more time there and believe these are the two main ingredients for a strong tech eco-system.  We look for that in selecting target markets.