GameSaku’s Hendri Salim Shares Insights About the Startup’s Life with Apps Foundry [INTERVIEW]
Enricko Lukman | On October 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm
One of the milestones in many startups’ progress is when they decide to look for and receive investment from venture capitalists or investors to accelerate their business growth. We recently spoke with Hendri Salim, the CEO of Indonesian mobile gaming review site GameSaku, who shared a little about his decision to partner up with Apps Foundry back in May, giving us a glimpse of what kind of life awaits startups when taking on investment.
1. When do you think a startup is ready to look for investment?
You don’t want to waste your time stuck in something you don’t like. So you have to be sure that the startup you’ve been working on is something that you want to do. I would say give it a while before you look for investment, because you have to be able to say, “Yes, this is that I want and love to do,” before looking for any investment.
You also need to work on your business idea. Basically your startup should be able to answer particular problems and be scalable. Just because nobody has done it before, doesn’t mean that it is a good idea. Chances are other people have done it and proved that it was not good idea.
2. How do startups find investors? How did you meet up with Apps Foundry?
Today, investors are actively scouting for startups through the web and social media, so it’s even easier for startups these days to meet with investors. Having social media and clear contact details on your website is important. But also be proactive, look for any recent investment activity and don’t be afraid to contact them directly. And watch out for startup events because investors are likely to be there.
GameSaku was started as a hobby, with me and Glenn working on it at night. We were full time employees elsewhere back then. Until one day our investor contacted us via Twitter and here we are right now. It was quite a simple process actually.
3. Why did you decide to receive investment in the first place? Why Apps Foundry?
After a of couple weeks working on GameSaku.com, we began to be interested more in mobile gaming and started to pour more resources into it until we reached a point where we decided that this is what we want to do. But we also knew that this kind of startup would need money for daily ops, ads, etc., so investment was the answer.
Why Apps Foundry? Well some startups might get more than one investment offer but in our case we only had the Apps Foundry offer at the time. After a couple of meetings, the chemistry was there and I didn’t even bother looking for other investment.
4. What do you get from the investment?
I can’t tell you the exact number, but it’s certainly not just the money. We are fortunate enough to meet an investor that has great knowledge and is willing to tell us about the nitty gritty of the startup industry. Being a startup for the very first time required a lot catching up for us on current industry practices. And this is where a great investor like ours comes in to help. They will tell you the ‘dos and don’ts’, probably not in a specific way but in a more general way, which is very valuable for a first timer like me.
5. How’s life after the investment?
I believe that every investor out there is looking for a great return, so yes the target will be high, but isn’t that something you also want? Of course you also need to be realistic and optimistic about the target. This is where clear and continuous communication with your investment would definitely help.
Always improve or sometime change your strategy if you fail to achieve your goals, and be sure to give your best in the process.
6. Do you see investment as a success? Or do you have some other yardstick to measure success?
There is no exact formula or magic way to achieve success, it all comes down to the efforts you put in and how attractive your business value is.
Personally I see the investment as catalyst rather than an enabler, because you basically can create virtual businesses with less than $100 these day.
A great investor should speed up your startup especially in the early days. But you are the one who going to make this fly or fail.
Disclosure: Willson Cuaca, the CEO of Apps Foundry, is also part of East Ventures, an investor in this blog. See our ethics page for further details.
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