Failure is a part of life but a perspective of moving on and trying to improve is thoroughly achieved by believing in oneself. The story of this 24-year-old young lad, who had failed in STD 12 will truly amaze you.
At the age of 17, when most of the teenagers are trying to figure out their colleges and universities, Rishabh Lawania launched his first start-up, inspired by Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
Failing STD 12
Rishabh wanted to do something beyond the ordinary. Unlike other students, who were focused on cracking entrance exams for prestigious colleges, he launched his first venture the very year he flunked in STD 12. Since he came from a non-business family, nobody was there to guide or support him.
“Nobody expected that I would start a business, much less a technology start-up because I have no technical background whatsoever,” said Rishabh.
Just after his STD 12 board exams, he launched another startup. This time, it was his own management company, Red Carpet Events. The company helped organize and co-organize 70 plus promotional, corporate events across Delhi, NCR, Jaipur. This venture made Rishabh realize the power of networking.
Unsuccessful attempt to amazing turnover
In 2013, he started JusGetIT, a logistic startup which specialized in delivering groceries. This startup partnered with more than 30 vendors and shopkeepers and helped them maximize their revenues by offering its tech solutions. The venture, however failed owing to lack of understanding of market and insufficient funds. Rishabh realized that his venture didn’t consist of a cost-effective model.
The failure of JusGetIT didn’t stop him and he focused on creating a sustainable business to business tech platform which is also scalable. In 2015, he went to the US where he teamed up with a techie to launch Xeler8, his most famous and successful venture till now.
Xeler8 is a deal sourcing and startup research platform. Their database acts as a start-up tracker for the global investing community looking to invest in high potential start-ups. The idea behind Xeler8 came to him when he tried to learn more about his competitors.
Exiting at the right time
Convinced of the product’s marketability, the Xeler8 team in the US built a beta product and launched it exclusively for certain invite-only angel investors, startups and VCs. Within months, the company launched its first product in India.
“Back then, there was Bloomberg & similar platforms, which had databases of big companies. Even the ones that existed did not have good coverage when it came to start-ups. This was pretty much a good product market fit,” said Rishabh.
Just after a year, Xeler8 commenced its operations. It was acquired by ZDream Ventures, while it was still at the development stage. This was because Rishabh knew that Xeler8 was never going to be a 100 million dollar company. So, he exited the game just at the right time.
Entrepreneur to investor
Following the acquisition of Xeler8, Rishabh joined ZDream venture as its COO and Head of Investment. This was the beginning of his journey as an investor. It was during his role as the COO of ZDream venture that Rishabh gained a strong understanding of start-up ecosystem across India, Japan, and the US along with the challenges and opportunities. During his short stint at Xeler8, he invested in a small portfolio of Indian companies.
WeeTracker is Rishabh’s latest venture. It’s a global tech media which specializes in African ecosystem, where it aims to nurture start-ups in the continent in a three-way holistic fashion, inform, educate, and invest.
The start-up will serve as a platform that strives to bridge the gap that currently exists between emerging markets like Africa and developed ecosystems across the world. WeeTracker already has up to 75 entrepreneurs, mentors and product manager across diverse sectors, and is currently said to be in the process of raising a $20 million (Rs 130 crore) fund.
While most Indians are looking up to the west for innovative ideas for startups, Rishabh has beaten all odds and become an angel investor for India. From flunking STD 12 to dropping out of MBA to becoming a millionaire at just 24, his extraordinary story is truly inspirational.
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