On the 24th of March, Khachatur Grigorian, the co-founder of GG taxi, and Ervand Sargsyan, the co-founder of Granatus Ventures, gave a lecture on how to get sponsored by a venture company and why exactly GG taxi startup got a sponsorship from Granatus Ventures.
Khachatur Gregorian started the lecture with the history behind the establishment of GG taxi. He said that at first there were GG laboratories, which had nothing to do with taxies and that they still do not call themselves a taxi service. Their company is more of a marketplace where every driver is a businessman. The idea emerged in December of 2013 and by April of 2014 the startup started operating. At first, as the owner himself admitted it worked very poorly. The car could get the customer hardly in 45 minutes; however due to 24-hour-a-day work and the loyalty of their customers, the startup eventually started getting better, and now cars reach their destinations in maximum seven minutes.
Khachatur: “It’s hard to work on a project when there’s no user. When you have users they give you power and motivation to work.”
Khachatur also mentioned that they’ve already started working with Georgia and are planning to collaborate with Persia and Russia.
Then Khachatur analyzed why exactly their start up managed to get a sponsorship from Granatus Ventures. As he said, the initial Team played a huge role.
Khachatur: “Implementation is the most important part, and the Team does it.”
Khachatur also mentioned that by saying the Team he implies the users and the drivers also.
Then Ervand Sargsyan continued the lecture and mentioned some important points for future developers. He also talked a little bit about their company.
Granatus Ventures is the first venture company in Armenia which only invests in startups that have IP in Armenia and are willing to prosper here. (They’ve already invested in eight startups.)
Ervand: “We never invest in IDEA STAGE startups because there can be many ideas and they should be compatible. On the other hand, the same idea can be simultaneously in the heads of ten people.”
He encouraged young people by talking about the First meeting: “It’s not necessary that exactly that specific company will invest in your startup. However, you had the first meeting, which means you are in their horizon.”
Ervand: “Just show you’re gonna do it anyway!”
He continued with the story of investing in GG. One year ago, the boys, whom Mr. Sargsyan knew earlier, decided to promote their startup. They already had the app but it was very weak initially. The boys, however, were stubborn and they decided to be in touch, examine the progress, and eventually proved that GG taxi was actually compatible.
So to sum up why Granatus Ventures invested in GG taxi:
1) The Team
3) The product
4) The market value (it prospers, and GG is already starting to work in Georgia)
5) Traction (the ability to express itself in the exact field)
Khachatur mentioned some important highlights about their company. He said that their destination is not the taxi but the GG brand in general. He talked about the interpretations about their name (Գազան Գռդոնչի, literal translation into English is Wild Left-Field Worker) , but he kept the true meaning of it a secret.
Khachatur: “Everybody told us not to do this but we did and succeeded; now, we are the leaders in this field in Armenia, and that persuades the investors.”
The speakers gave some other useful advice.
Khachatur and Ervand:
“If you do a startup, you should be a professional in a narrow field at first before you gain a higher percentage in that same field.”
“The Startup will succeed if it’s motivated, has an ideology, and a good Team.”
“Facebook is an easier and a cheaper way of advertisement than television.”
Khachatur: “We are a good example that you can become a millionaire here in Armenia.”