What is Together?
Together is an early stage VC fund set up in 2021 with an initial corpus of $85 million to help India’s best entrepreneurs build, scale and win together, establishing India as a true Product Nation.
What makes Together different?
Building startups is hard. We know it because we have done it in the past and are still doing it today!
Together is the first and only VC fund in India that is led by founders. In parallel with being founding partners of Together, we run some of India’s most well-known SaaS startups. This makes us uniquely qualified to help you beyond just putting in capital. We offer our time and network to help guide you through the startup journey from building to scaling to winning. Actively being in the battlefield allows us to have a ground-level and contemporary perspective on what works and what doesn’t and we will share all our tribal knowledge with you to help you solve challenges with an informed opinion. Beyond our founding team, we have built a cohesive and vast network of over 150 founders and operators to offer focused tactical operational assistance which will help you succeed.
For founders who believe that this is more valuable than just capital, we are the ideal VC partner.
What sectors does Together invest in?
At the get-go, we are starting with a focus on SaaS as that is what our strengths lie and we believe that we offer the most help for SaaS founders to build, scale and win. That said, when we meet exceptional founders who we are excited about partnering with, we are agnostic to the domain and market
What do you look for in founders?
We are looking for founders who are hungry and aspirational and want to build world-class products and companies.
That said, we only work with founders who are high on integrity and ethics - we see these as principles that cannot be compromised upon.
What aspects do you look for when you evaluate a startup?
It is almost impossible to predict which startup will win during the early days. You need a huge dose of luck and timing to win big but these factors are many times outside your control.
Which is why we focus on the founder rather than on the startup. We have to feel good about our chemistry with the founder and her team at a minimum - this is simply because we want to work with folks that we see ourselves enjoy working with. We also try to look for signs of founder-market-fit - does the founder have decent domain knowledge and an informed opinion on the future of this market? Is this market large enough to make it worth winning and if so, is this founder ambitious enough to want to scale and win at a global level?
Post partnering with a founder, we focus more on the journey than on the outcome. A primary reason why we founded Together is to work with great founders and have fun along the way together. As much as we believe that we can help founders, we would like to learn from them as well and contribute in every meaningful way to shape great companies.
What stage do you usually invest at?
We will invest from $250k upto $3M in a seed, pre A or Series A round. We typically like to be the first institutional investor so that we can do the heavy lifting in terms of helping you build the product and achieve product-market-fit for the crucial zero to one part of the startup journey.
Will you lead my round or do you only do follow-ons?
That depends entirely on the founder’s comfort. If you are looking for a “first believer” who will lead your round with high conviction, we are a good fit. Alternatively, if you have already earned a funding mandate and are looking for a VC with strong operational chops to fill your round, we will be glad to co-lead or follow the round
What is your investment process and how long does it take you to make a decision?
We value the time of our founders and therefore we move quickly. We usually meet twice before bringing the company to our IC (Investment Committee). Post the IC meeting, we decide go/no-go within 24 hrs and close the loop with the founder. The entire process can take from a few days to up to three weeks.
What’s your ideal syndicate structure?
We love working with angels and other value additive funds. We believe founders should choose the best partners - ones who bring complementary skills to the table and increase the overall chance of winning. That said, we like to build independent conviction and are happy to lead/co-lead rounds without asking “who else is investing?”!
What is the best way to get in touch with you to pitch our company?
Many founders have told us that “pitching” is their least-favourite part of fund raising - it is a high-stress situation at the best of times and getting judged on the basis of a conversation is often harsh and whimsical. So we encourage founders to not pitch to us! Instead, we invite you to get in touch to just have a friendly chat - whether you are raising a round or not. Let’s have a coffee together and take it from there! You can reach us through our website but getting introduced through any of our portfolio founders or helpful angels/founders also works well.
What are your investment terms?
We offer friendly and flexible investment terms that put you, the founder, front and center. We believe that we will win only when the founder wins and we focus all our efforts around helping you win.
What’s your diligence process?
We like to spend time with the founder to understand the problem and gain a first-hand customer perspective. Post the term sheet stage, we typically close all processes and documents in a matter of weeks. Our aim is to wire the investment to your bank account within one month as we know that every day matters
Will you join my board?
We will take a board seat at a Series A stage. Till then, we believe that the founder should focus completely on building the business and figuring out answers to important questions regarding product-market-fit and go-to-market models. During this time, a quarterly board meeting is probably too infrequent a cadence to enable us to help the founder in this crucial phase. Therefore, we will not just be available on a quarterly or monthly basis but on a weekly basis for the first two years of startup building! Our commitment goes far beyond just taking up a board seat and we will help in every conceivable way acting as co-founders in spirit to help you win.
What’s your follow-on strategy?
We have enough reserves to support our companies in subsequent rounds but equally, we have great relationships with large global VCs that we can introduce you to when it comes to your next round.
What support can we expect from you beyond capital?
Beyond the time and counsel of our founding partners who are founders like you, we offer an ecosystem of 150+ operators, who can help you with operational expertise, making connections and tactical contextual advice.
We would also be helping companies in getting better partner deals from vendors and open access to the best CEO coaches. We will always work for our portfolio companies as an extended family. Our centers of excellence in specific domains will be a very useful resource for early stage startups.
How will Girish and Manav help portfolio companies?
As founding partners, Girish and Manav are deeply committed to the fund. Apart from spending their time meeting founders and vetting ICs, they will be actively involved in shaping Together’s portfolio.
In addition Girish and Manav will help founders on a regular basis by sharing their experiences and learning as well as their mistakes and opening up their rolodexes to benefit portfolio founders.
What is the overall goal of Together?
Abdul Kalam once said, “A dream is not that which you see while sleeping, it is something that doesn’t let you sleep”. We believe that every entrepreneur deserves a chance and our dream is to give a chance to as many founders as we can. We believe that this is the only way we can achieve our common dream of seeing India becoming a “Product Nation”.