Markets – A Swing Story of 2-Days (Investments)

Hello Folks, what an interesting year so far. We have Unicorns, Stock market crashes and central bankers now playing the roles of Super Heroes and everyone wondering about the Co-Relation between the stock market gyrations and Start Up – VC funding.

redI decided to write about this and the implications for the startup world but then who better than Mark Suster (GP -UpfrontVentures) to explain the co-relations here ( – a must read!

Its been a very busy year with travel, work, working with portfolio companies and deal flows (phew) the highest deal flow which I have seen come across in the last 3 years – is it the market, is it because we are now starting to be known around the block (a very tiny block), is it my increased social media adventures, (YouTube , ) or tweeting @BlackstoneVG ☺  ( ) don’t know but it has been good.

The tough part has been getting back to all the entrepreneurs in time and there I have failed. I pride myself for a zero inbox policy and a response within 24 hrs yet, I found consistently falling behind. I apologize again to all the founders/entrepreneurs who got delayed responses from our side – its my fault and have taken steps to ensure that we are able to deal with this more efficiently.

So What’s on Tap? Well for the most part – looking at the quality of the deal flows I expect us to be busy in getting involved with more startups in different capacities and maybe looking at a few mature ones too. One thing I realized is that not everyone is looking for $$ but some are looking for direction, guidance and a bit of mentoring. This is especially important for first time entrepreneurs and especially those who haven’t had the break of getting in through Y-Combinator or any of the other accelerators. I am firm believer that ecosystems do matter in nurturing and guidance in early stages – which can often make a difference between a successful startup – Unicorn or Not.


Figure 2 US Equtiies Markets as of 08/24/15 –ht FinViz

As I started winding down my post here is how the market closed today…go figure ☺

I want to keep it short and sweet and let you go with a question…

Which commodity has had the biggest price increase (% change from previous month) June ’15 to July ‘15?



Please email your replies to
Or tweet them to @BlackstoneVG.

Thank You!
For reading and your continued support!


2015 – Start with a Bang! CapitalMind

We are pleased to announce that late March, we led a syndicate of US and Indian investors to close a seed round investment in CapitalMind based in Bangalore, India.

You can find out more about this deal here , there and a few other places.

Why CapitalMind?

Capital Mind is on a quest to bring new age financial analytics to their readers, subscribers and partners related to macro-economic events, policy changes, market metrics, individual stocks/bonds offerings capturing the storyboard about India.

  1. India has the largest single stock futures market in the world.
  2. The size of the Indian Equity market is about ~ $1.7 Trillion (in market cap) while the GDP is a bit higher @ ~ $2 Trillion.
  3. Volumes in Derivatives have gone up more than 4x
  4. Retail participation in the equity and derivatives markets is more than 20%.

Source: Who else but the incredible team @CapitalMind

The last decade has seen the market cap go up around 2.4x while the GDP has gone up correspondingly by 3x. This has led to humongous amounts of data being pushed out there related to macro-micro economics, market statistics, companies data, policy impacts, but yet very little has been done to harness the power of the information available and bring it to the investors in India.

The data hungry investors (both the average Joe on the street as well as the Institutional folks) are looking not only at the blobs of data but more importantly at the interpretation of this information overload.  Can someone collect, massage, analyze and distill this data in an easy to understand format?

Why Now?

Capital Mind’s Mission is targeting this market space and serving an unfulfilled need which is reflecting in their 30% growth in paid subscribers since inception (3Q 2014) and have great UAR metrics in all their soft launches and beta offerings.

We have been tracking the trajectory of Capital Mind from its inception days and always wanted to be part of the growth story. However we wanted to be as diligent as we could and also ensure that the team led by @DeepakShenoy would get much more than $$ with this investment. With that thought, we pulled the trigger and are very happy to have done so.

They are not sitting on the pile of cash they raised or the laurels garnered and are hiring aggressively, so if you or someone you know is interested in joining a hot new financial analytics startup in B’lore, India– do send your applications to

Thank you for your support and patience. As we grow our portfolio selectively, we are making some changes to the website and also engaging with social medial more directly.  I am more active on twitter nowadays – so you can follow me @BlackstoneVG (yes I do need more followers & RTs☺).

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have questions or comments. I can be reached via email.




Happy 2015 – BVG

Happy New Year 2015– BlackstoneValleyGroup

Hello Folks, it has been a long time since I took to blogosphere to share my thoughts and updates – the delay is a result of me trying to manage my time and juggle across many priorities!

2014, seems to be a bumper harvest year for all sectors –We saw record IPOs – Alibaba ($24 Billion) & VC firms seemed to have abandon the “Millions “in company valuations as they raced with each other to catch the Ubers, HomeJoys, Lyfts and make your head spin with every new investment round pushing the B in Billion higher! Hey Angels weren’t left that far behind… Angel investing took an interesting turn with a couple of big Angel Investors now leading Series A round themselves!

So how did we do – The pic below is a powerful indicator of what we didn’t accomplish much in 2014 –we came very close to inking 3 deals but no Cigar. 150% effort but nothing to show for it :)For 2015 – we have dry powder and we are on the hunt!


àLet us take a look at why our focus is on BIM for the next few years: Labor Force in Millions! And the Emerging Middle Class!


Source:IMF 2014

These are huge marketplaces by themselves. Let me share some stats —

Brazil: Urban population: 87% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Total Population: 202,656,788 (July 2014 est.), with over 44% in (25-54 years age bracket)

India: Urban population: 31.3% of total population (2011)
Rate of urbanization: 2.47% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Total Population: 1,236,344,631 (July 2014 est.), with over 41% in (25-54 years age bracket)

Mexico: Urban population: 78% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Total Population: 120,286,655 (July 2014 est.), with over 40% in (25-54 years age bracket)

{note: Mexico City is the second-largest urban agglomeration in the Western Hemisphere, after Sao Paulo (Brazil), but before New York-Newark (US)

(Source: World Factbook)

Ok – That is our stat section – now time for Hat Tipping and acknowledging some of the biggest influencers on me personally. Warning! I am going to name drop in a big way here …with a full disclosure that I do not know any of these great individuals nor do I have any delusions of them having heard about me (but it is on my bucket list to meet all of them –Ahem!).These game changers are leading the wave of innovative approaches to entrepreneurship and crafting a path for the baby angels (newbies like us to follow :)!

Ben Horowitz /Marc Andreessen (Co-Founders of )

Peter Theil (

Bill Gurley (

Mark Suster (

Jason Calcanis (

Gil Penchina (

As a side note, Ben also wrote the best business management book out there – The Hard Thing About Hard Things” (if you haven’t read it please put in on your reading list)

And that’s it – I do promise to at least a quarterly if not more frequent update!   Please hit me on twitter @BlackstoneVG or I can be reached at