Devansh Lakhani is a Mumbai based Chartered Accountant. His enthusiasm for equities led him to begin his career in a Stockbroking firm as an equity research analyst and corporate finance. His primary role was to review companies, research on them, meet promoters, prepare research reports. After working for over 2.5 years, he then launched his firm called Lakhani Financial Services.
He began by proposing PMS and wealth advisory services to the clientele and later commenced approaching his friends with his service and got them on board. Devansh then started getting many referrals due to his extraordinary quality of service. Moreover, he ventured into the investment banking domain.
Gradually, Devansh started getting some referrals from startups to help them raise funds, and that’s when the ball started rolling for him. He started discerning the startup ecosystem by meeting and making networks with promising investors, mentors, founders.
About Lakhani Financial Services
Devansh Lakhani, the founder of Lakhani Financial Services, discovered the gap between the investment banking and advisory space in the startup ecosystem. He understood that there are not many genuine advisors who can help founders raise funds and guide them properly on their fundraising and business journey.
This reason led him to start offering services in this domain. So the primary services of LFS as of date includes-
- Connecting startups with angel investors and helping them raise funds.
- Help startups prepare an efficient business plan and pitch deck.
- Mentor the founders.
Talking about the unique elements of the firm, Devansh stated that he infers this field well, and more importantly, while being associated with any startup to raise funds for them, the team sits down with the founders to understand their 5-years vision. They work closely with them to formulate the business plan, including the revenue model, cost model, unit economics, cash flows, valuation, etc.
The company discusses and brainstorms with the founders, which gives them, investors and the founders a deep sense of clarity about their vision and how the business will be executed. This is why they have successfully raised funds for startups – 3 during last year, one raised a couple of weeks back, and one almost on the verge of closing. During these difficult times, raising funds and advise startups is something they are incredibly proud of.
Devansh highlighted many challenges, but he would not want to throw light on all of them. One of them, which he believes someone can learn from, was expanding his team. For a long time, he believed he could single-handedly run a business. For that, he had to unlearn many things and relearn how a business is supposed to be. His mindset had to be changed to understand he can’t grow without a team. Initially, it was challenging, but now he is grateful to have such a great team, having overcome that mental challenge.
Devansh says, “This is something he has witnessed in many startup founders that they do feel they are good being alone and don’t want a team for whatever reason. Those reasons are an excuse not to grow; you are discrediting yourself by not getting people who are better than you in areas which you aren’t good at. So if someone is reading this and are in a similar position, please do not stay little. Change your mindset, read books, watch good videos on businesses, etc. But get a team.”
Devansh would like to specify the firm’s deal last year during the peak of Covid-19 in June 2020. They had started working with the startup in Jan 2020, prepared their business plans, pitch deck, brainstormed, connected with many investors, but for a long time, nothing seemed to go right for them.
One of the investors showed some interest but later backed out. Suddenly, in April, an investor based out of Kerala, an experienced professional from a similar line of industry, got in touch with Devansh over Twitter. They happened to engage with each other a couple of times, and one thing led to another wherein the firm happened to discuss this startup Rekla. The investor appreciated it, and after a few meetings and negotiations, set the deal to invest in Rekla.
Devansh stated that the reason to specify this event is that the firm closed this deal after 5-6 months to connect with someone over Twitter whom he hasn’t yet met face to face; both share a great respect for each other is senior to him. It shows that persistent efforts will lead you to extraordinary outcomes, albeit delayed sometimes. Also, he was proud that at the peak of Covid, they could help a startup raise funds.
Business Model and Revenue
The company possesses a simple but efficient business model. They provide the following assistance –
1) Connecting startup founders with angel investors and closing deals – Charge a certain success fee.
2) Preparation of a business plan and pitch deck – They have a professional fee for their valued time and efforts.
3) 1-2-1 Mentoring – A professional fee for their valued time and efforts.
4) Pre-recorded course on startup fundraising – INR 2,499 only.
Future Plans Ahead
Plans ahead are straightforward; they want to double the startups they help in 2021-2022 for fundraising to 10 and advise 100 startups. Their mission is apparent that they want to pioneer this ecosystem and work with 1,000 startups over the next five years. They are building their team to be capable of executing this mission.
Devansh hopes to make his firm the go-to company for startup founders, entrepreneurs and young visionaries for helping them raise funds, grow their business and scale up their operations.