Exclusive: AdvantEdge Partner, Kunal Khattar on why Failure should be Celebrated in an Entrepreneur’s Risky Life

From seeing Carnation start-up ten years ago to it now being profitable with 135 outlets, 45-year-old Kunal Khattar has grown into a seasoned investor-entrepreneur.

“I started doing angel investment in a personal capacity three years back. After about 7-8 investments, I decided to make it more structured. Initially, we were understanding the market and making smaller investments, now we are doing more calculated investments mainly in technology and automobile sector,” says Khattar relaying his Indian start-up advantEdge, pun intended.

advantEdge is an early stage venture capital fund, focused on finding the best ideas and execution in emerging Indian tech sectors that have immense potential to become international businesses. advantEdge backs early-stage startups with a strong founding team, and a compelling value proposition and has made 18 investments so far. “We focus on strong unit economics, a clear path to monetization and a scalable customer acquisition model. The fund invests between $100K to $1 million per transaction in angel, seed, and Series-A investments and we already have two exits,” says Kunal, proudly explaining how in the Indian market, the idea isn’t the key but the execution is.
Khattar thinks that being in Delhi NCR gives him an upper hand as the capital is quickly taking over Bengaluru as the start-up capital of India. In numbers, Delhi has produced more unicorns than Bengaluru, Mumbai and Chennai combined.

Kunal thinks that this is a great time to start-up as now serious businesses are being built with more strategic investments than ever before,”A lot of people become entrepreneurs for the wrong reasons as they think it is a way to become rich faster and gain fame. What they don’t realize is that they’re leaving a 9 to 5 corporate job for a business that is 24x7 and takes over your entire life,” says Khattar who asks the new entrepreneurs their priorities before investing in them.
He thinks that most successful companies become successful after two or three pivots giving Carnation as an example. “All of the successes like Paytm, MakeMyTrip, or even Naukri.com had a ‘near death experience’ which means that they were on the verge of shutting down before they found their way out. Failures should be celebrated, especially in an entrepreneur’s risky life,” Khattar says that giving up is not an option.

With a hybrid approach with other VC partners, they have made strong investments in Rapido, FlipClass, OnlineTyaari, ScoopWhoop, Tripoto etc.and they aren’t stopping anytime soon. The only aim is to invest in real businesses and not copy-cats that will work for the Indian market.

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