10 emails that made my journey from Bootstrap to 100% Dead to Profit

Musings from my entrepreneurial journey…

Intro. Hustle. Empathy. Entrepreneurship.

Introductions are key in “Entrepreneurship”.

Before you even meet your prospective investors in person, they need to sense your journey (& commitment) via your “emails”.

And, empathy on both sides is a must (entrepreneur<->investor).

Here are 10 emails between 2012 and 2016 which made all the difference to Explara: Stay in the journey -> Bring Back To Life -> Operating Profit.

In 2012

1. Email

Dear Karthik,

Meet Santosh Panda, Founder of ayojak.com (Ayojak rebranded to Explara in 2013), a good customer of Exotel. They manage events & registration. These days, they seem to do pretty much all the events I attend. More below.

Santosh, Meet Karthik. An entrepreneur’s true friend in an otherwise selfish VC world.

Over to you both.,

Founder Exotel — Asia’s leading cloud telephony company

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2. Email

Tks Shivku for a kind intro.

Santosh — have heard of the platform — I think I used it for unpluggd once. Send us more re: deck etc.



Co-Founder and Managing Partner,@BlumeVentures

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3. Email

Hi Karthik — I am heading to Hyderabad today for a week, my father-in-law getting admitted there for heart surgery on 17th. Could you kindly send me your contact number, I will reach you.



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4. Email

Post/lunch would mean somewhere in b/hills area.



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5. Email

Hi Rajan,

I thought of sharing the following info, which motivated my team today.

Ayojak’s July 2012 has been 700% growth vs. July 2011. We had done 2.5 lakh in July 2011…all SME. Finger crossed. Somehow, Ayojak has not been lucky on the funding side though.



6. Email

Congrats Santosh!!

That is great!

What is the net revenue?

Rajan rajan anandan

7. Email

Thanks Rajan :)

Our revenue was 1.5 lakh on 18 lakh sales… as of today, we are the No 1 in the SME model. I am confident we will crack it much deeper. Last week, we also opened our first UK client, who is hosting an event in Wembley Arena.

We have one small group (3 individuals from IIM / (ex)entrepreneurs background) have agreed to put XY lakh for pushing the next 6 months to big growth; however, we need another X lakh. We are offering X% for XYZ lakh investment.



8. Email

Hi Santosh please call me


💰DEAL DONE. Rajan decided to invest right after this email. Blume Joined too.

In 2016

9. Email

Subject: Never Hesitate. Hustle.

Girish, (Girish Mathrubootham)

This is what I just now told myself, before drafting this mail. We are getting good conversations happening on LetsVenture with a few commitments and a few upcoming.

Possible to support this hustler with word of mouth among your contacts to evaluate participation? We have listed on LetsVenture (https://letsventure.com/explara) too with min commitment of XL to YL.

I thought you had done good karma for so many that you won’t hesitate for this fella.



10. Phone

Girish Decides to support. (He asked me to call over the phone & discuss)

11. Email

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Taking a bow.



Year 2012/13

Rajan + Blume, we secured the first round of investment. Several angels participated too. I had already invested 3 years of my own money and this investment helped me to stay on the journey.

Year 2016

Girish Mathrubootham + Rajan Anandan decided to re-invest. Several angels participated + @HyderabadAngels Thanks a ton to Shanti Mohan too!

Explara was dead, and this investment brought the company back to life. The company would be dead without this investment, 100% sure.

In FY19, Explara’s gross payments volume reached ~$11M and ~$250K in gross ARR.

2018 & 2019 (FY 19 & FY 20) — Explara achieved operating-profit.

2020 (FY21) — Explara will survive and bounce back to stay operating-profit

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I am sharing this email content with a spirit of entrepreneurship. Someone somewhere might get influenced and it may help her/his entrepreneurial journey to hustle first and succeed big way!

Partner & Co-founder @FoundershipHQ Optimist. Super fighter. Prev: Started up in 2007 to Launch India’s First DIY Event Platform @Explara