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Our first interaction with Wildcraft was an exploratory meeting in 2008. When we met them again, in 2013, the company had crystallized its strategy and was on its way to build a strong pioneering brand.

This is where the story begins - GV, Siddharth and Gaurav tell us how the partnership came about.

Siddharth Sood
Wildcraft

We first met Sequoia in 2009 following an inbound call made by one of their analysts. The meeting was brief - we didn’t have a business plan or a presentation and weren’t really looking to raise money. But by the time we connected with them again in early 2013, we were on the lookout for investors and had just begun the formal process.

Gaurav Dublish
Wildcraft

2009 was the year we hit 5 crores in revenue.

GV Ravishankar
Sequoia

We had seen their stores but it wasn’t clear if there was a market for the outdoors stuff they were selling. Cut to 2013, the caliber of the team and the way they were building the business blew everyone away. Sequoia made them an offer – this was all in that one meeting – but they wanted to get a banker and move forward with the process.

Siddharth

In July that year we were planning to go to Goa for our national meet. GV asked if he and a couple of his teammates could join us. We said he could but we didn’t think he was serious. But the three of them actually flew down for the meet. The resort was full and we had to get a few people to double up to make room for them.

GV

Our idea was to go to Goa and see if we could continue our discussion with them. Their willingness to bring people in from the outside for this internal meet spoke volumes about their transparency and their confidence in the business.

Gaurav

Openness has always been a part of our culture. Of course, we were a bit worried because our internal projections were bigger than what we had presented to Sequoia. But we said, ‘It is what it is.’ We can’t tell our sales team to dial it back because a potential investor is sitting in the audience.

Siddharth

We wrapped up around 11 pm on the first day and then moved into the resort’s beautiful library where we talked for an hour or so before calling it a night. GV went to bed and we wandered around the resort, weighing our options. At 2 am, we called him in his room to ask if he would join us to continue the discussion.

GV

As most people who know me will testify, I go to bed early and was seriously groggy when I got the call. But I shook it off and made my way back to the library in the middle of the night. By breakfast the next day, we had shot an email out to the Sequoia team. And just like that we were in business.

Siddharth

Ours is a consumer brand. We are trying to create a brand story in the country and this calls for both time and patience. A lot of VC money tends to be impatient money and that’s not what we were looking for. We needed a partner on the same wavelength as us and we felt that Sequoia would be that partner.

Gaurav

I think one other thing we liked was that Sequoia gave us a very simple set of terms. It was a one pager with about ten to eleven lines on it. It was very binary - no scope for ambiguity and no hedging or balancing one thing out with another. So that really swayed us in that session with him. We felt that this was the kind of straightforward approach we could expect – and that gave us comfort.

GV

They saw real intent from our side when our team showed up for an internal meet over a weekend. They told us later that it demonstrated a certain level of seriousness and was a turning point for them in their decision.

Siddharth

We wanted to see conviction from the other side. And that visit showed conviction. The investor time to hear a pitch is two hours. If you are flying down to Goa to spend two and a half days with the team, it says something about how serious you are. We already had better terms from others but this conviction coupled with some of the other qualities we saw during the course of our negotiation persuaded us that Sequoia was the right partner for us.

Wildcraft
Wildcraft equips travelers & adventurers with gear to experience the great outdoors and life-changing adventures.
Milestones
  • Founded 1998
  • Partnered 2013
Founders
  • Siddharth Sood
  • Gaurav Dublish
Investment Advisors