“People often talk about PMF or product-market fit. We call it as pandemic-market fit”

The pandemic has filtered out the second-bests in early-stage, according to Lightspeed India Partners’ Hemant Mohapatra 

From a scramble to protect portfolio companies to being amazed at the opportunities in some sectors and at the resilience of founders, this has been a rollercoaster year for Lightspeed India Partners. Hemant Mohapatra, partner at the early- and growth-stage VC, believes this crisis has separated the best-in-class from the also-ran. The VC has always been interested in enterprise tech, with 50% of their portfolio companies in SaaS, and it is a sector that has done exceptionally well during this pandemic lockdown. Mohapatra talks about the other opportunities that can be tapped.

How was this year for Lightspeed India Partners? 

March and April were like being in the ER (emergency room) because we had no idea about how long the impact would last. Over a month/month-and-a-half went in scrambling around, trying to figure out where the damage is, how deep the damage is and what can we do to protect the companies. At that point of time, it was hard to be strategic because no one had a point of view on how the market will evolve. There were some sectors that had a pretty deep impact. Transportation was shutdown, travel and hospitality were shutdown, offline commerce was shutdown. So, those areas had an overall negative impact.

The positive impact of the pandemic in certain areas began to appear sometime around April-May. These were sectors such as edtech, content, SaaS and healthcare.

What were the signs that were visible in these segments?


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