- How Venture Capital Works (HBS course materials)
- Alternate Sources of Funding
- Envia Systems (HBS course materials)
Venture capitalist Atul Kapadia was inclined to provide seed funding for Sujeet Kumar and Michael Sinkula to found Envia Systems, a lithium-ion battery company. Admittedly, Envia was little more than the founders' vision of an affordable electric vehicle and the potential of playing in a very large market. But for Kapadia, it was precisely these two key ingredients that made Envia attractive and akin to other early-stage investments he had made at Bay Partners.
- Consider the range of information Kapadia had at the time of his investment in Envia. What would lead you to invest? What would give you pause?
- Was Envia situated in the appropriate part of the S-curve as described in the reading? Is Kumar's timeline for realizing the product a good one from a VC standpoint?
- What are the advantages of the Li-ion battery? What must happen in order for these advantages to be realized?
- Evaluate Envia's go-to-market strategy. Discuss the difficulties Envia faced in finding a customer. Do you think they made the right decision in approaching end users like Apple, Motorola, and GM? Were there other potential customers Envia could have considered?
- Critique Envia's initial choice for CEO.
- Envia went through multiple stages of funding and product development without finding a customer. Why did the funding continue through this period of uncertainty?
- How should Kapadia proceed with the term sheets he has? How much money should he seek in the Series C round, and from whom?