Four high-profile Indian entrepreneurs who are among those who have kick-started India’s SaaS journey, building and helping startups scale and win customers globally and have also backed about 100 such companies are ready for their next phase of joining. the country’s startup ecosystem.
The group – Girish Mathrubootham of Freshworks, Manav Garg of Eka Corporation, Shubham Gupta, formerly at investment firm Matrix, and Avinash Raghava, formerly at Nasscom, iSPIRT and SaaSBOOMi – said on Wednesday it has established a venture capital fund called Together Fund, with an initial $85 million corpus to support young Indian startups operating in the software-as-a-service space.
Together Fund is looking for 20 to 25 startups in the pre-seed to Series B phases. The size of the company’s check will range from $250,000 to $3 million, Garg said in an interview with TechCrunch.
Indian news channel the CapTable reported first on the fund’s creation earlier this year, citing an investor who said Together will likely attract all the good SaaS deals because of its founding team and problem statement.
The fund has built a network of more than 150 startup founders and investors, including Krish Subramanian of Chargebee, Nishith Rastogi of Locus, Shashank ND of Practo and Kunal Shah of CRED. And that underlines the reason why Together Fund was established, according to Garg. The entire team is made up of founders and other operators who have built startups and have expertise in sales strategy and global expansion, he said.
“This is India’s first operator and founder-led fund,” he said. “The idea of creating this fund was to give the founders great help and opportunity along with money.”
The creation of the fund — whose founding team counts among its LPs — comes at a time when Indian startups are raising record capital as many high-profile investors double down in the world’s second-largest internet market.
Over the past decade, India’s startup ecosystem has evolved from a space that most Indian families were apprehensive about to one that has witnessed several high-profile exits and many entrepreneurs have moved on to work on their second startups.
“Today, Freshworks is a large company with more than 3,800 team members and offices around the world. But almost eleven years ago, we were just a six-person team operating out of a small garage in Chennai. I didn’t have a gilded resume or family assets, but that never stopped me from dreaming big,” Mathrubootham wrote in a blog post.
“To me, Together isn’t just a fund, it’s a way to pay it back to the startup community that has given me so much. It’s a natural continuation of the pay it forward initiatives we started with community programs like PNGrowth, SaaSx and SaaSBOOMi. With Together, we are not only providing capital to founders, we are also offering our time and advice,” he added.
The Together Fund founding team will continue to participate in other industry initiatives, including SaaSBOOMi, an annual flagship conference targeting SaaS startups in India, Raghava said in an interview.
According to a recent study by SaaSBoomi, consultancy McKinsey and industrial trade group Nasscom, the Indian SaaS industry could reach $1 trillion by 2030 and create about half a million new jobs.