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Gireesh Mathrubootham and Manav Garg, founders of Freshworks Inc. and Eka Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd, are set to jointly start a fund christened ‘Together’ that will invest in early-stage startups in the business-to-business (B2B) enterprise software and software-as-a-service (SaaS) space, three people aware of the development said.

Shubham Gupta, formerly with venture capital firm Matrix Partners, is the third founder of the fund, which is expected to be launched by March-end after receiving regulatory approvals.

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Digital media startup TheCapTable first reported the news on Thursday evening.

The fund is expected to close at $80 million though the founders are currently deliberating on its final size.

Together will invest in seed to Series A startups in the SaaS space and will hand-hold early-stage founders at the inception stage, helping them build the right teams and focus for their business, one of the three people cited above said, requesting anonymity.

Garg and Gupta declined to comment. Mathrubootham didn’t respond to an emailed query.

“Together is different from a typical venture fund since it is started by seasoned founders who have scaled successful startups and can bring their knowledge and perspective in play for really early-stage entrepreneurs. Apart from investments, the fund will help in hand-holding these founders looking to start up in the B2B and SaaS space. The difference is that it is a fund by founders, versus by finance venture capital professionals," said the second person cited above.

“SaaS has become mainstream, especially with the onslaught of covid, as businesses are truly becoming digital now. More than funding, early-stage startups do require a ‘sounding board’ which can look up to for helping solve their queries. With seasoned founders on your side, this can be a big differentiator for nimble new age companies. We think Together can bring that edge," said an early-stage investor, on condition of anonymity.

Mathrubootham and Garg had earlier come together in November 2018 with other SaaS founders to form SaaSBOOMi, a platform to help guide the community of SaaS-based startups.

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