“Unfortunately, due to just one individual, Lee Fixel of Tiger Global, Flipkart has gone from being a poster child to being the single biggest risk to the technology ecosystem.” So opined Sharad Sharma, founder of iSpirt and a prominent angel investor in India in mid-2015. This is not an isolated opinion. Several others in the Indian startup ecosystem are wont to blame Lee Fixel for the purported funding bubble and the attendant risks it engenders.
How Tiger Global redefined the 3Vs of India’s startup ecosystem
The last year or so has been annus horribilis for investing in India with both funding levels and sentiment falling off a cliff. There are a lot of theories, that this outcome is a result of Lee Fixel and Tiger Global's unwarranted bullishness on India. Is this assertion true?
Tiger’s early bet in Flipkart changed the rules of investing in India forever. Starting with Flipkart, Tiger made nearly 50 more early stage bets in India
Lee Fixel believed in the Indian consumer story a lot more strongly and feverently than any other VC. Beyond Flipkart, Fixel backed startups targeting every other domestic consumption aspect
Fixel made bets in areas that VCs in India have traditionally stayed away from. He can also be credited as being one of the first VCs who let founders take money off the table in secondary exits
While Tiger’s investments in India were by themselves driven by a well-thought-out hypothesis, these investments triggered a wave of copycat actions made by actors who weren’t anywhere as well informed or data-driven as Tiger