We Founder Circle supports inspiring and ambitious entrepreneurs: Gaurav VK Singhvi, Co-Founder

We Founder Circle supports inspiring and ambitious entrepreneurs: Gaurav VK Singhvi, Co-Founder

We Founder Circle operates based on three foundationalpillars Community Building, Compliance and Technology.

We Founder Circle is a startup ecosystem enabler that supports and benefits the community through early-stage identification, continuous support, and investment opportunities for founders. They proactively identify and support talented individuals, offering capital visibility and continued investment if milestones are met. The platform provides multi-stage support and investment, seamlessly transitioning startups through various stages. The organization's effective integration of technology enhances platform efficiency and access to opportunities for community members. In an exclusive interview with The Hans India, Gaurav VK Singhvi, Co-founder of We Founder Circle, share all about the No. 1 Angel Investor Network of India –We Founder Circle and what differentiates them from other global investment and networking platforms. They prioritize community building and networking, both digitally and physically, to foster connections and collaborations within the startup ecosystem.

Gaurav VK Singhvi, Co-Founder - We Founder Circle

How do We Founder Circle differentiate itself from other global investment and networking platforms?

As the co-founder of We Founder Circle, I am proud to say that we differentiate ourselves from other global investment and networking platforms through our unique approach. Our multi-stage startup ecosystem and investment platform empower founders and investors in the global start-up landscape, offering unparalleled support and opportunities throughout their journey. At We Founder Circle, we begin with Evolvex, aground-breaking program that identifies and nurtures quality founders right from the early stages, even during their university years. We provide campus seed funding and a strategic accelerator program to help promising startups kickstart their entrepreneurial endeavours.

To facilitate the funding process, we have invstt.com, our cutting-edge investment platform, which simplifies early-stage investing and streamlines the funding process. We offer two funds - the Invstt Trust Fund, registered with SEBI as an Angel Fund, and the GIFT City Fund, catering to global investors exploring opportunities in the Indian startup ecosystem. Another crucial aspect of We Founder Circle is AvinyaVentures, our SEBI-registered venture capital fund, which supports and invests in innovative ideas across various sectors.

Our operations are built on three foundational pillars: community building, compliance, and technology. Through digital and physical channels, we have reached out to various regions across India, fostering an inclusive community that includes tier 2, tier 3, and tier 4 cities, alongside tier 1 cities and global capitals. We take regulatory compliance seriously and ensure all our operations adhere to the necessary frameworks. Leveraging technology effectively, we enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our processes while remaining compliant. At We Founder Circle, we are committed to revolutionizing the startup ecosystem and providing unparalleled support to founders and investors worldwide.

Can you provide specific examples of innovative business models that We Founder Circle has supported within the tech, SAAS, EV, Agritech, Healthcare, and Fintech sectors?

We Founder Circle, has supported various innovative business models within the EV, Agritech, Healthcare, and Fintech sectors. Examples include Oben, Zypp, Evify, and Kazam in EV; Growit and Humus in Agritech; Ayushpay, Yogify, and Glamyo in Healthcare; and YPay, Microfinance, andBanksathi in Fintech. Our commitment to fostering innovation and supporting disruptive startups showcases their dedication to reshaping industries and driving positive change. These examples highlight our commitment to fostering innovation and supporting disruptive business models that have the potential to reshape industries and drive positive change.

In what ways does WeFounder Circle's startup marketplace benefit its community and contribute to the overall ecosystem?

We Founder Circle is an essential part of the startup ecosystem, benefiting the community by providing early-stage identification, continuous support, and investment opportunities to founders. Our platform delivers value through various means:

1. Identifying and Supporting Founders: We proactively identify and support talented founders, even during their campus years, offering early-stage support and investment opportunities. Founders are assured that if we demonstrate progress and meet milestones, continued investment will be provided, fostering trust and partnership within the community.

2. Multi-Stage Support and Investment: Our platform offers synchronized support and investment throughout a startup's journey, from the campus seed stage to Evolvex. Startups are transitioned into curated ventures as they progress, ensuring access to the right funding and growth opportunities at each stage.

3. Community Building and Networking: Founder Circleprioritizes community building and networking, both digitally and physically, to create a strong and diverse community across India and globally, fostering connections and collaborations within the ecosystem.

4. Technological Enablement: The organization effectively integrates technology, enhancing platform efficiency and effectiveness and providing better access to opportunities for community members.

Team of We Founder Circle

How do We FounderCircle ensure the selection and support of women entrepreneurs within its portfolio?

At We Founder Circle, we ensure the selection and support of women entrepreneurs within our portfolio without imposing quotas or deliberate planning. Upon reflecting on our investment journey, we discovered that approximately 25 per cent of the companies we invested in have women founders or co-founders, which we find to be a significant and positive number. We firmly believe in treating all founders equally, regardless of gender, basing our selection process on merit and potential. Our curation and investment decisions are unbiased, and we take pride in not differentiating between genders. While we are not specifically focused on women founders, we are thrilled that our fair approach has led to funding women-led startups. We anticipate the number of women-led startups in our portfolio will continue to grow, and we remain committed to supporting women founders and entrepreneurs. The evolving entrepreneurial landscape provides greater opportunities and support for women, and we are excited about the progress we have made thus far.

What strategies or initiatives have We Founder Circle implemented to foster the growth and development of startups in tier 2/3/4 cities?

As the co-founder of We Founder Circle, we recognized the immense potential for capital and investment opportunities in Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4 cities collectively known as Bharat. However, we also noticed a lack of awareness and education regarding early-stage investing and the startup ecosystem in these regions. We took proactive steps over the past 30 months to bridge this gap. We conducted master classes in approximately 50 cities across Bharat, providing valuable insights on early-stage investing, portfolio approaches, capital allocation strategies, and more. These classes empower investors and founders, preparing them for growth and success. Additionally, we organized university startup mixers, facilitating networking opportunities and collaboration between aspiring founders and investors. As a result of these efforts, more than 50 per cent of our community's investors now come from these regions. We are actively empowering entrepreneurs and investors in Bharat, creating opportunities for startup growth, and fostering an inclusive startup ecosystem.

How do We FounderCircle's domestic fund for Indian investors differ from its cross-border fund in GIFT City for overseas investors regarding structure and objectives?

We Founder Circle offers two distinct funds with different structures and objectives to cater to the needs of Indian and overseas investors.

The first fund is a domestic fund approved by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as an angel fund which is now having almost more than 600 LPs. It allows Indian investors to participate in the domestic startup ecosystem and supports startups in raising capital. The primary objective of this fund is to facilitate investments within India, providing a regulated and compliant platform for both founders and investors.

The second fund is the cross-border fund based in GIFT City. This fund enables investments both into and out of India. It caters to overseas investors interested in the Indian startup ecosystem and Indian investors seeking opportunities abroad. The cross-border fund allows for cross-border transactions and provides a platform for investors to access global startup opportunities while still adhering to regulatory compliance.

Both funds operate as Category I angel funds and prioritize regulatory compliance and investor protection. By offering these two funds, WeFounder Circle is unique in the ecosystem, providing a comprehensive platform that benefits investors from both domestic and international perspectives.

Provide insights into the investment criteria and evaluation process employed by We Founder Circle for selecting startups to invest in.

At We Founder Circle, our investment criteria and evaluation process revolve around the concept of founder-market fit. We believe that the founder's ability to execute their ideas is paramount, especially in the early stages of a company where traditional metrics may be limited.

When evaluating startups, we focus on four key aspects contributing to a founder's ability to execute effectively. These aspects are knowledge, experience, passion, and attitude. A founder who possesses a combination of these qualities is more likely to be qualified as a capable and driven entrepreneur.

Furthermore, we consider the market size and potential for growth. A large market is essential for any investment decision, as it provides the opportunity for substantial returns.

As an active angel network, we work closely with founders, supporting and guiding them to enhance their abilities. While our evaluation process emphasizes founder-market fit, we understand that each startup is unique, and we take a comprehensive approach to evaluate its potential.

What factors contributed to We Founder Circle's decision to expand its investments from 53 startups to a target of 200 startups in the coming year?

We Founder Circle's decision to expand its investments from 53 startups to a target of 200 startups in the coming year is driven by several key factors.

Firstly, our confidence stems from the foundation we have built through integrating new tools, regulatory compliance, and developing a strong ecosystem. By leveraging these resources, we are well-positioned for expansion.

In the calendar year of 2022, we successfully completed 71 deals, demonstrating our ability to identify and invest in promising startups. As we look to the current calendar year, 2023, we are already witnessing remarkable progress and a substantial increase in our investment activity. With the completion of our infrastructure-building efforts over the past 30 months, we are now fully prepared to scale up and seize new opportunities. Our estimation for this year is highly optimistic, with a significant improvement over the previous year's performance.

Therefore, we are committed to expanding our investment portfolio significantly, aiming to close no fewer than 200 deals in the upcoming year. This ambitious goal reflects our confidence in our capabilities, resources, and the potential of the startup ecosystem.

How do We FounderCircle envision the role of technology in enabling and enhancing the global investment and networking platform it is building?

At We Founder Circle, we firmly believe that technology is pivotal in enabling and enhancing the global investment and networking platform we are building. We see the future of investing deeply intertwined with technology, and we are actively leveraging its potential to drive innovation and growth.

At Invstt.com, our tech-enabled platform brings together two funds, Invstt Trust and the GIFT City regulated fund, marking the intersection of technology and the investment landscape. These funds, driven by advanced technology, are crucial in ensuring regulatory compliance and providing seamless investment experiences.

The community we have cultivated, spanning across India and worldwide, has been made possible by leveraging technology. Our digital platform and tools have enabled us to connect with investors and entrepreneurs, transcending geographical boundaries. This connectivity, facilitated by technology, has paved the way for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and the expansion of our ecosystem. Looking ahead, we are excited about the prospects technology brings. It will continue to drive our growth and scalability.

What's your take on Generative AI, and would you be willing to suggest your portfolio companies adopt generative AI-based technologies?

Generative AI holds tremendous business potential in today's fast-paced and ever-evolving world. It is an innovative technology that can significantly enhance productivity and efficiency in various industries. However, it is crucial to use it judiciously and strike a balance between its usage and preserving human creativity.

Generative AI-based technologies can be incredibly valuable tools for founders and entrepreneurs. By delegating certain activities to the technologies, they can reduce resource utilization on tasks that don't necessarily require their personal views and creativity. This, in turn, frees up time and energy for focusing on other critical aspects of their business. Its smart utilization can empower founders to optimize resource allocation. By incorporating generative AI, founders can leverage its capabilities to stay at the forefront of innovation. It can harness its power to adapt to the rapidly changing business landscape and the evolving needs of its customers.

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