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Looking to get funded? We’re launching a course that will help you get there
We love creating at High Output Ventures, and we love sharing all those creations with you. Our aim is to produce content that will be helpful in your startup career and take you one step closer to being the ultimate entrepreneur.
As a venture studio and builder with a mission to fund, invest and build the distributed companies of tomorrow, High Output Ventures is giving you real insight into the biggest hurdle as cited by most founders and entrepreneurs: raising capital. The course has been designed by Omar Parvez Khan, Venture Partner at HOV.
Omar has worked with hundreds of founders as a VC, fundraising consultant and a mentor. We won’t be surprised if you’ve already had an interaction with him that left you eager to learn more about what he has to say.
The founders he has guided and invested in have gone on to raise millions of dollars and are running some of the best-in-class startups in Pakistan. The idea of the course was in fact, brought forward by Omar himself, who recognized that there is value in all the learnings and insights he has gathered into the inner workings of Venture Capital over the years.
The course has been designed with guidelines to help unlock capital for your growing business.
A brief overview of the key takeaways from this 4 Week course**:**
- Deeply understand how venture investors approach investment and evaluate deals
- Thoroughly adopt the VC mindset across your business and use it to your advantage
- Completely transform your pitch and know exactly how toget investors excited about your business (and no, it’s not “problem, solution, opportunity, team”)
- Get a firm grip on how VCs actually value startups and never be confused on how to justify your valuation again
- Make sure you’re not on the wrong side of the deal by understanding Term Sheets, SAFEs, Convertible Notes, Definitive Agreementsand all the legal mumbo jumbo
- Prepare for due diligence by setting updatarooms, investor updates and follow-ups.
- Create FOMO to time-box your round and close quickly
In addition to sharing knowledge and actionable insights, signing up for the course connects you with senior founders and guarantees interviews with leading investors to help you get your foot in the door and put all the knowledge to use.
The course goes live on the 13th of June. We’re offering a free webinar session on the 30th May and 6th June where you can ask questions and get a preview of the course itself. Come join us!,...
From TGL to HER
In December 2020, High Output Ventures was thrilled to announce it’s an entry in Vietnam by acquiring The Good Life, a Vietnamese health and wellness App sharing fitness workouts, nutrition plans, meditations and mindfulness lessons.
Usman, HOV’s founder and Managing Director, has known Chi Anh, founder and CEO of TGL, for over 18 years where they first met at the National University of Singapore and has been witnessing Chi Anh’s immense growth and professional development over the years. Keeping in mind a bigger vision, the young female entrepreneur is announcing the transition of TGL into HER.vn, a company based on the same values and ambitions as TGL but catering to a larger population by branching out to various channels and products, with the mission to serve Vietnamese women in a bigger and better way.
The rebranded company HER.vn aims to further improve Vietnamese women’s quality of life by creating the much-needed connections between mind, body and soul. Focused on tackling stress, social pressure and addressing body confidence insecurities, HER.vn is set to be helping women develop a better relationship with their own body, grow a loving relationship with themselves and the people around them, as well as building a successful life that allows them to shine to their fullest potential. Extending access through the online website will ensure that HER.vn can support a greater number of women throughout all stages of their wellbeing and happiness journey.
The website is going to bring a new approach to online learning offering empowering education on everything from mindful living, self-development, career growth, parenting, to pregnancy health, fitness & nutrition and healthy, evidence-based meal plans.
Gaps in the market
Women-focused empowerment blogs and resources are lacking in Vietnam, and HER.vn will be the first of its kind. At the moment, Vietnam has an abundance of mass media for news, lifestyle, entertainment and while healthy living is the goal of many, it is difficult to ascertain which practices are best, according to professionals in the fields with science & evidence-backed results. The country ranks 1st in Asia in Female Business Ownership, yet women face significant challenges in the workplace regarding income gap and low social acceptance of female business owners.
The founders are confident the website will attract a large community of women looking to improve their mental health, refine their overall well-being and work rejuvenating self-care into their routine.
“HER is my vision of a better future for us women because we deserve it. Of course, HER won’t make itself, but is a product of love from not just us women, but also men who want to support women, both in and outside Vietnam.” – Chi Anh, Founder of HER.vn
An industry worth investing in / Health and Wellness platforms gaining popularity
Virtual health and wellness platforms and startups have grown increasingly popular in 2020, a large reason being the Covid-19 Pandemic. The industry is growing rapidly and seeing a rise in investments globally.
HER.vn is creating irresistible lifestyle, personal development, health and wellness content for women that is positive, inclusive and approachable – we can’t wait to see the impact it makes on Vietnamese women and the benefit it provides to all its subscribers.,...
First-ever High Output Ventures Accelerate Program Concludes
On July 20th, a team led by Usman Sheikh started laying the building bricks for HOV Accelerate – High Output Ventures’ first Accelerator Program. At the time, HOV published a post emphasising how thrilled we were to be starting the Accelerator, but the real work had not yet started and the success of the whole program relied on the quality of the companies to be selected.
The first Cohort of HOV Accelerate was successfully wrapped up on 15th January 2021. HOV is glad to say that our expectations, albeit very high, have been exceeded. The three startups that were selected to participate in C1 have been great and also proved very attractive for investors. We are confident that the start-ups will receive the investment they require and continue to hit all their goal targets in the months to come.
We plan to remain closely connected with the start-ups and have made clear they have our continued guidance should they wish to reach out.
Commenting on the start-ups, Usman Sheikh HOV managing director said “We are thrilled with the quality of the ventures. This first-ever cohort to participate in HOV Accelerate has set the bar very high.”
We used the following three primary filters to select companies for our Cohort, which we spoke about in-depth here:
1. Venture scale businesses
2. Fast growth trajectories
3. Domain Experts
The initial idea was to accept around 10 companies without compromising on quality and maintaining the bespoke nature of the program. In order to maintain these standards, and keeping the above markers in mind, HOV selected only three companies out of over 200 applications received for the program.
We hope that after putting in so much effort over the course of the last 3 months, the companies see an acceleration in reaching key milestones such as time to raising venture capital and gaining customer traction. The entirely online program – with mentoring and networking all done virtually – focused more on business resilience, defining company fly-wheels and customer retention.
Here’s a quick look at the startups:
Baby Planet: The parenthood journey is plagued with challenges. Irfan Ahmed decided to solve one of these challenges by setting up an online portal, Baby Planet, where parents can find everything they need for their children without having to search too far and too wide. The company is growing 30% MoM. With an estimated target market size of $5bn, Irfan and his team have traced their customer journey over the course of the last 5 years and are able to identify not only the need but the amount of a product that a customer would require at different stages of their child’s life.
Hotpod: Pakistan’s first managed kitchen network, Hot Pod is solving the limited access problem faced by several food brands; Opening a new kitchen is expensive, risky and time-consuming. Hotpod wants to enable hyper-growth for F&B brands by giving them instant access and revenue growth from new markets. Hotpod currently has 3 kitchens and plans to expand to over 50 within the next three years.
Swag Kicks: It’s hard to find the latest sneakers at affordable prices in Pakistan. That’s where Swag Kicks comes in. The startup sells pre-loved top brands at low prices in mint condition. The shoes are 100% authentic and rare to come across such as FILA, ASICS and Columbia. With a local shoe market size of $2bn, Swag Kicks leverages its strategic connections with importers and vendors to get the first pick of pre-loved shoes.
At HOV Accelerate, the end is the new beginning! Dates for Cohort 2 will be announced later this year. If you think the program might be a good fit for you, make sure to keep checking back to see when applications open.
We hope we continue our journey in helping thinkers and doers build remarkable businesses ✨,...
HOV will help fuel TGL’s growth in Vietnam and beyond
HOV is thrilled to announce the acquisition of The Good Life, a Vietnamese health and wellness App sharing fitness workouts, nutrition plans, meditations and mindfulness lessons. The acquisition marks the entry of High Output Ventures in Vietnam, an emerging hub for start-ups.
Led by founder and CEO Chi Anh, TGL has become an essential part of daily life for modern Vietnamese women focusing on health and wellness while providing knowledge and empowerment tools.
“It was a no brainer for me. Usman and I, though through our own different ways, have always been searching for a way to serve this world better, to create positive change, to make a difference and a lasting impact that could help people live and work in a more fulfilling way. I love the way Usman and his team at HOV constantly strive to break the status quo through innovative solutions in technology & connectivity. Now with TGL, we found a common playground. It still is technology, but with the soft & warm touch of human wellness & mindful connections driving it.”Chi Anh, founder TGL
TGL has helped women become proactive in their everyday wellness and the customer base has grown quickly since their launch in late 2019. It seems to be the right time to enter the market, considering just months later, the whole country went into lock down due to Covid-19.
The company is committed to upgrading the lifestyle of Vietnamese women to become healthier, fitter and more confident. The wellness industry has seen a massive growth in the past few years worth over $4.2 trillion globally. The abundance of information available on health and wellness can often lead to quality content being buried – which is where TGL bridges the gap and information mismatch.
“I am delighted to announce that HOV has acquired the entire TGL business and will work alongside Chi Anh to turn it into the leading media property for modern women in Vietnam to learn about wellness, personal growth, and thereby lead a positive, fulfilling lifestyle. This acquisition also marks our entry into the fast-growing Vietnamese market that has been on our radar for many years. We are looking forward to investing and building more internet businesses with strong founders in Vietnam, a country that is thriving with talent and potential.”Usman Sheikh, Managing Director HOV
Usman and Chi Anh attended the National University of Singapore together 18 years ago. Since then, Chi Anh has gone from becoming a marketing professional, starting a food blog as a passion hobby to launching a thriving food & beverage business in Vietnam, lifestyle retail and now wellness.
The TGL leadership team will remain entirely intact with HOV stepping in to provide design, development and financial support and the company will maintain key regional offices in Vietnam.
The team has developed an aggressive road map for future growth and has exciting things planned ahead.
You can also read the blog post on the acquisition from Chi Anh, here.
Is HOV Accelerate the right program for you?
Taking a business from zero to one is exhilarating.
Stories of how napkin sketches become billion-dollar unicorns make the seemingly impossible, possible. When you hear aspirational founders equate the experience to ‘eating glass’ or ‘ jump off a cliff and assemble an aeroplane on the way down’, we know that the journey is not going to be easy.
All startups are locked in a fight for relevance.
It truly is the survival of the fittest, and the smallest of edges could be the difference between crossing the chasm or not.
As someone who has been building businesses for the last 17 years, I have first-hand experience of how difficult this journey is. There is nothing that I could share with a founder that would prepare them for what is in store for them. Every journey is unique. However, just like a sherpa guiding people up the most treacherous of mountain trails, what we can do is guide founders where potential potholes can show up.
We conceptualized our HOV Accelerator program with that insight. Over the years, we have built a team at HOV that has been on the zero-one journey multiple times. Instead of spending times in lectures, we work with our founders’ side by side in the trenches.
The bespoke nature of our program is why we are incredibly selective with the founders we choose to work with.
There were three primary filters for us to select companies to work with:
- Venture Scale Businesses
We are specifically looking to work with companies that have the potential to become category leaders. We met many founders who had great businesses but would find it very difficult to reach the level of scale required for a venture scale business
- Fast Growth Trajectories
The type of business we were looking for is already growing quickly. We are an accelerator and not an incubator. We require complete teams that will be able to take advantage of our program and network.
- Domain Experts
Each of our founders needed to know the category they were operating in intimately. They need to share with us hard-earned insights that would give them an edge in the market. Insights that can only come from experience.
As we filtered our applications through this lens, most companies didn’t meet all the requirements. The HOV Accelerator will continue to have high standards on every cohort that we bring on. We do not have fixed quotas that we need to hit.
At HOV we have a core value which is “Do Epic Work”. This value requires us not to put half baked stuff into the world.
Our hope with our first cohort is to provide them with every edge that we have acquired starting, scaling and selling businesses. We are very excited about the founders we are working with and the companies that they are in the process of building. As we progress on our own zero to one journey with the accelerator, we will continue to share our observations and thoughts with the broader community.
If you are building a business that satisfies the three requirements above, please get in touch with us for our next batch!,...
Mahmood Mirza joins HOV as Country Lead
We’re thrilled to announce that Mahmood Mirza has joined High Output Ventures as Country Lead.
In his new role, Mahmood will be overseeing various operational functions that are critical to growing our presence and impact. He will be heading HOV Accelerate in Pakistan. Working with teams across HOV, Mahmood will help lead us forward in our journey to help founders build exceptional companies.
Mahmood has extensive leadership experience developing strategy and systems at leading technology companies and building customer-centric service operations. In the past he has served as Head of Products and Strategy at Access Group and prior to that as Head of Strategy and New Ventures at Wavetec. Most recently he served as Chief Product Officer at Bogo.pk, a leading deals and discounts marketplace, and continues to advise and mentor startups and non profits.
Mahmood is a graduate of the University of Waterloo in Canada where he did an honors Mathematics degree in Operations Research with a minor in Computer Science.
“I’ve spent a lot of time working with CEOs and founders in Pakistan, where building a business comes with a whole set of other challenges. Combined with the complexity of creating new and improved product or services (which require time and support to take shape), startup founders really have their work cut out for them.
At High Output Ventures, we believe that all founders can be world-class if and when given the right type of guidance and support at the earliest stages. And that’s what High Output Ventures, it’s Seed Fund and Accelerator Program, is all about. We want to find and assist the best and brightest founders globally and in Pakistan – at both early and later stages – not just to get started and find traction, but to build great companies that will scale and create more opportunity for others.“
His expertise will help us to keep on delivering remarkable experiences for our startups, old and new. Mahmood is a great fit for our team and values, and we look forward to having him on the team!
Welcome to HOV, Mahmood!,...
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Meet Omar Parvez Khan, Venture Partner at HOV
We’re excited to introduce Omar Parvez Khan, Venture Partner at HOV.
Omar is very much a polymath, who can deliver insights on consumer businesses, the start-up ecosystem in Pakistan and data analytics all at once.
Omar will support the HOV Partners in their investments and work on models while supporting other projects. Omar has an interesting history in the Pakistan startup and VC ecosystem. He has provided in-depth analysis and solutions to over 50 founders, primarily working with them as a fundraising consultant. Starting his career in Audit, Omar worked with PwC where he developed a deep understanding of big business in Health, Finance and Telco to name a few. It was during this time that he started helping founders across Pakistan, including those in i2i’s last 4 cohorts. He made the switch to join one of the first SECP licensed Venture Capital firms in Pakistan as an Investment Professional, Lakson Venture Capital, as part of the founding team.
“Having worked so closely with several Pakistani startups and VCs, I realized there is an opportunity in the early stage space where one can find good companies with gritty founders who, for one reason or another, haven’t been able to secure funding to scale. Investors usually say the founders need more exposure to the VC world or the company needs scrubbing up. That’s where HOV comes in. The Accelerate arm looks to solve this problem by providing early-stage ventures with the guidance they need to mature while also providing them the investment so they can demonstrate their ability to scale” said Omar Parvez Khan, Venture Partner. “With so much changing around us and seeing all those deals fall through, building a studio enabling this sort of empowerment and connecting with start-ups – especially those who not only thrive themselves but have innovations that benefit larger communities -is beyond exciting!”
Welcome to HOV, Omar!,...
Welcome to High Output Ventures
High Output Ventures (HOV) has been a long time in the making.
I started my first business in college over 17 years ago. At that point, I was not at all fully aware of what I was getting myself into!
Over the years, I have had a generous serving of failures and successes. The thing about building businesses is that you only need to be correct once! However, to make that winning shot, you need to be consistently brave enough to step up to bat every single day!
HOV is an amalgamation of all that knowledge and learning.
HOV isn’t your traditional venture fund; it isn’t a venture studio, and it isn’t your ‘run of the mill’ software development company.
At our company, we are carving out a small ‘niche’ for ourselves; our focus is on building and investing in businesses that are challenging established ways of work!
Remote work is the future.
We have been fully remote as a company since we started in 2014.
Over the years, we have had to face most of the pitfalls that newer remote companies face today. We have learned and honed in on technology pieces, processes and opportunities that this method of working brings to the table!
This advantage places us in a uniquely opportune position in the present working world scenario of COVID-19!
HOV has three main components in its business:
- Co-found: We look for exceptional subject matter ‘experts’…those rare specialists who challenge processes in their respective industries. We partner with them, providing the capital and resources required to bring their ideas and stories to life.
- Accelerator: Early stage businesses in South Asia need an extraordinary amount of support to be able to close the knowledge gap. Our accelerator is one of the few that offers capital as well as access to a full team of in-house experts to help companies grow quickly! The accelerator is fully remote and is hence able to give easy access to founders globally.
- Seed Investing: We would ideally like to be the first cheque that startups aim to raise from investors. Our primary focus is on startups that are in the SaaS space. Occasionally we will invest in opportunities outside this thesis with exceptional founders or markets.
Partnering with HOV provides individuals and startups with all the unfair advantages mentioned above! Raising capital is just the first step.
What is of the utmost importance is what you do with that initial capital when it hits your bank account for the first time!
We believe that as operators who have scaled businesses; we can provide you with actual strategies, measures and course of action needed. You can then run with that, improve on it and in time, significantly improve your probability of success.
HOV is committed to creating an awe-inspiring community of builders and creators who are on a mission to make an impactful impression!
I hope you will sign up for our weekly investment newsletter; it will give you a glimpse into what we are doing and reading every week.
We at HOV are excited to start sharing with you publicly…all that we have been working on over the years!,...
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