But as a former start-up investor himself, he had a head start when it came to soliciting funding.
Having been one of the early backers of ride-sharing company Gojek and other regional start-ups during his time at venture capital firm Sequoia India, Mehra said he always asks three key questions to every business.
Here are the questions.
Investors want to know what a founder wants their company to be and if their target market is large enough to support that vision, he said. So, potential founders should be prepared to share their big idea – and the market data to back it up.
In Mehra’s case, Ula was creating an e-commerce service for the millions of Indonesian neighborhood kiosks, called warungs, which are used daily by local residents. In a country of over 270 million people – and therefore potential consumers – it was a large addressable market.
“Good enough” means that a founder is both “hungry enough and smart enough” to achieve his vision, he explained.
For example, while Mehra had 15 years of e-commerce and investment experience, he was less familiar with the Indonesian market and brought in co-founders to supplement this knowledge.
It involves demonstrating the company’s successes so far, through a combination of customer feedback, data analysis and financial reporting, he said.