Vikas Datt, CerraCap Ventures

Vikas Datt

Sales and Scale

Editors’ Note

Vikas Datt has over 15 years of cross functional experience in leading digital strategy, business transformation, business planning, analytics, and technology projects. He has held senior positions at a leading IT services company and one of the largest private life insurance companies.

Will you share your approach to identifying and selecting portfolio companies?

Our focus is on enterprise products in cyber security, healthcare IT, and advanced analytics. Within these areas, we do constant calibration of our approach, while working closely with enterprise buyers to understand the market demands.

We have a good stream of start-up companies from the U.S. and Israel, through our global relationships, renowned advisory board members, technology companies, and educational institutions.

We run the companies through our proprietary evaluation model. We believe that one of the most important criteria is the “Teams” evaluation. Getting to know the team, understanding its passion, vision and its alignment to the market is critical for our investment decision making process. The final selection is based on companies that are best fit for our model of “Sales and Scale,” where we actively advocate to acquire enterprise customers and guide for execution delivery. As engaged investors, we support our companies with “Value Beyond Capital” for them to reach full potential.

How and why are you significantly better?

Thank you for asking me such a great question, as it goes back to the genesis of CerraCap Ventures. On one hand, innovation is a matter of survival for some of the largest enterprises but they have had limitations with identification and adoption. On the other hand, we saw investors investing but offering no to little value to some great start-up companies, most eventually end up failing. We identified this as a significant gap in the market. Our differentiation model is based on bridging this gap effectively.

We differentiate ourselves in three areas. First, our team is built with C-suite executives with over two decades of experience with large technology companies. Our deep understanding of the enterprise market and the core technology provides us with an edge with our portfolio companies.

Second, principals worked together for an average of 10 years perfecting the unique “Sales & Scale” model that significantly increases the value of portfolio companies. It provides early stage companies with large enterprise customers.

Finally, we have created a comprehensive ecosystem of renowned investors and advisors who provide for strong mentoring and global access for our portfolio companies.

How are you reacting and better prepared as business and market conditions are changing?

We believe that preparation and dynamic adjustments to the market demands are key. Scenario planning across multiple levels of uncertainty, progressive decision making, and adaptive strategies are required for a business to be successful. While we can’t predict the market conditions, we can certainly design and equip our businesses to navigate the market uncertainty.

Therefore, we keep a sharp focus on the fundamentals of our businesses; self-sustaining cash flow, path of breaking even, and eventual profitability. These fundamentals keep us on the path to sustain the market volatility. At CerraCap, we invest in the right capabilities and teams to build economic and political IQ. You will identify this as you speak to some of our portfolio companies as part of this interview segment.