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Seduced by Cricket with Suresh Mahadevan

Background: Suresh Mahadevan

  • CFO of SureCash, a Bangladeshi fintech firm
  • Was group CFO of Digiasia, the Indonesian fintech firm
  • Spent 12 years with UBS bank as an equities executive in Hong Kong, India and Singapore
  • Angel investor for past four years, with at least 20 start-ups to his name
  • MBA, Post-graduate diploma, Undergraduate degree in electrical engineering

Suresh’s worst investment ever

  • Ventured into angel investing after UBS banned staff from stock investing worldwide
  • Was an angel investor in a startup that tried to harness India’s other religion – cricket
  • The company’s fantasy cricket app was to be first of its kind
  • Invested US$100K, was seduced by the fact that noted cricket personality was solo founder

Suresh’s takeaways

  • ‘I forgot to tell you, he’s bad with numbers’
  • Suresh signed up and introduced many friends
  • Hard drinking and smoking solo founder was a walking “key-man risk”
  • Founder’s excessive spending should have mattered
  • Realized that business was on thin ice after years without progress
  • Cashed-up competitor took over whole idea

My takeaways

  • My model to assess start-ups, TIEM
  • Trust: Do I trust the founder/s?
    • If there’s no trust – STOP
  • Idea: Is it a good idea?
    • If it is not – STOP
  • Execution: Can they execute?
    • If no – STOP
  • Money: If no money, you won’t get there
    • If no – STOP
  • This company really broke down at the point of execution
  • Financial professionals can be overconfident about own investments
  • Investing in start-ups is always a high-risk activity

Actionable advice

  • Search carefully into the character of founders or entrepreneurs
  • Be even more wary of sole founders

My Worst Investment Ever six main categories of mistakes:

  1. Failed to do their own research
  2. Failed to properly assess and manage risk
  3. Were driven by emotion or flawed thinking
  4. Misplaced trust
  5. Failed to monitor their investment
  6. Invested in a start-up company

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DISCLAIMER: This content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Readers should not consider statements made by the author(s) as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. While the information provided is believed to be accurate, it may include errors or inaccuracies. The author(s) cannot be held liable for any actions taken as a result of reading this article.