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Abhay was scheduled to meet Darshan of Vini Cosmetics in a hotel conference room. Each had heard of the other and was going into the meeting with a certain amount of anticipation.

Darshan and Abhay tell the story of that first meeting.

Abhay Pandey
Sequoia

I entered the room with all the stories I had heard of him in my head. I knew that I wanted to do business with him without really knowing the details of his venture. Very seldom do you go into a meeting with this frame of mind. Within the first ten minutes of the conversation, I realized that the feeling was mutual.

Darshan Patel
Vini Cosmetics

It was love at first sight. The meeting lasted an hour and a half. At the end of it, I had decided in my mind that if we were raising funds, it would be with Sequoia.

Abhay Pandey

He told me many things about the company – all of which I loved. Our philosophies matched – on product, advertising, margins, people management.

Darshan Patel

We discussed numbers and plans. I knew where we were heading. It felt right for both parties. We did not have specific plans for the funds we were seeking. But we needed it to push for more growth.

Abhay Pandey

He said he had a valuation number in mind. And that I might struggle with it because it was high. It was a steep figure but I found myself telling him we could take the decision forward. He was happy but I was thinking about the uphill task ahead of me.

Darshan Patel

I was very confident about what I was asking. I don’t know what Abhay was thinking. Possibly it may have made it a more risky proposition for him. But I had my rationale in place. In fact, I felt that I had given him a conservative estimate.

Abhay Pandey

It was not easy to make the case on valuation - but on everything else there was absolutely no doubt. After consultation with the broader Sequoia team, I went back to him and told him we were all on board.

Darshan Patel

As far as I’m concerned, I want to make sure that the people who are with me in this also do well. In that first meeting, I was trying to gauge if Sequoia was serious about us. And I could tell they were.

Abhay Pandey

The relationship has been terrific. He has shown a lot of love and respect for Sequoia which we are happy to reciprocate. What helped make this a partnership was the fact that both sides were so motivated.

Darshan Patel

Sequoia has a very straightforward approach and Abhay is very accessible. I don’t have to wait for quarterly meetings to pass on updates to him. We are still sitting on the money we raised with them and are exploring new and exciting ideas for using it. The initial rapport definitely helped in this case. It’s turned out to be a good marriage.

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Vini Cosmetics
Vini Cosmetics sells popular beauty and personal care brands including Fogg and Glam-Up.
Milestones
  • Founded 2009
  • Partnered 2013
Founders
  • Darshan Patel
  • Dipam Patel
Investment Advisor