Just like a human baby's brain, a startup's first few years contribute heavily to its future health and success
Building a startup takes a toll on the founders, especially in the formative years
Fast Forward helps accelerate your startup’s success with fast seed funding and a forward path

Seed Funding in 10 Days

Seed funding is often subject to accelerator, incubator, cohort selection processes and delays. Funding amount is sometimes contingent on future deliverables. 

Fast Forward cuts through the noise and gets Seed capital in the hands of the most deserving entrepreneurs in an easy and transparent fashion.

₹1 – 2.5 crores
for 15% equity
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To apply for Fast Forward, create a simple StartUp Profile by answering 10 questions

Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis.

WaterBridge has allocated ₹75 crores (INR 750 Million) for this ongoing programme.

First window of application submission has a deadline of 22nd May 2020. We will announce the deadline of subsequent application processes later in 2021.

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Fast Forward Highlights

Fast Forward is a simple and fast path to partnership between WaterBridge and Founders.

As a Seed – Series A first institutional cheque fund, while we enter a startup’s journey in any of those stages, Fast Forward represents our focused Seed investment programme. This has been in the works for some time but we think it will be particularly useful for startups in the current socio-economic disruption and tight fund raise environment.

Founders who receive Fast Forward funding are not treated as 2nd class citizens within our ecosystem. You get the same support and value add (yes that’s our Alpha) as all of our portfolio founders and you are the most important people in our own success journey.

We have carefully planned for adequate reserve and follow-on funding for subsequent rounds of fund raise just like all of our other portfolio investments.

To apply, create a StartUp Profile which includes a story deck, video and answers to 10 questions

Standard equity investment terms: ₹1 – 2.5 crores for 15% equity (Standard Term Sheet)

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FAQ

What does Fast Forward mean?

It is a fast (decision & funding) and forward (looking) seed investment programme of WaterBridge Ventures. Fast Forward is intended to expedite a startup’s journey to success.

Why apply to Fast Forward?

WaterBridge is a Seed – Series A fund. That means we make our first investment at Seed, Pre-Series A or Series A stage of a promising startup. We continue to support our portfolio for as long as possible and most certainly keep investing until the Series B stage of funding (we are on the Board of several of our Series C, D stage companies).

We have made several successful Seed investments in the past like Atlan (Data collaboration products for enterprises in the global market), DoubtNut (India’s most accessed education app with an AI product twist), Legitquest (AI product for legal research and services), Medcords (‘Bharat’ i.e. rural, small town India focused tele-medicine, digital health company), Nymble (B2C food robotics solutions), and Unacademy (India’s largest higher education, exam prep platform).

Fast Forward represents our focused Seed stage investment programme. This has been in the works for some time but we think it will be particularly useful for startups in the current socio-economic disruption and tight fund raise environment. Here’s our current portfolio to give you an idea of the kind of companies we like: WaterBridge portfolio.

We will be long term partners in your company building journey. If you want to get access to our value-add experience and eclectic network, we encourage you to apply.

Who should apply?

If you are a founder or a team of co-founders passionate about solving a problem that is India centric or being developed out of India, then you should apply. At this time through Fast Forward, we can only invest in private limited entities ie privately held, incorporated and headquartered in India.

WaterBridge has a strong liking for Technology disruption and we invest in a broad range of sectors like education, health, financial services, logistics & distribution, gaming, internet commerce, social commerce, mobility and consumer tech with network effects. We invest in B2C as well as B2B (SME or Enterprise customers, India or global market focus) startups. If Technology led disruption is at the core of your business model, it is more exciting for us.

We are very comfortable partnering with 1st time or repeat Founders. Your passion and unique insights in a sector help us evaluate your application better. We would require you to have a registered private company for making the equity investment.

We do not invest in sectors like hard core manufacturing (industrial, medical devices, semiconductors), offline retail (restaurants, other retail segments), real estate and hard infrastructure. Since this is a Seed programme with a standardized equity investment, later stage companies may not be a good fit for Fast Forward.

Is this an incubator, accelerator programme?

NO. This is a just a faster and easier way to raise your Seed round from WaterBridge which is a leading 1st institutional cheque Seed – Series A fund.

What are the investment terms?

  • ₹1 – 2.5 crores for 15% equity
  • Investment in 1 stage. No future deliverables based or tranched investment
  • Board, Observer seat
  • Minimum 10% ESOP beyond founders equity
  • Standard VC equity investment terms (Standard Term Sheet)

Why do you not use SAFE, Convertible instruments?

We feel SAFE (simple agreement for future equity) or Convertible instruments while seeming simple are a failure to define the risk in an investing partnership. It doesn’t align incentives between equity investors and startups especially in early stages of a company.

If we are able to develop conviction to work with each other, founders should raise money in straightforward structures so they can focus on company building as opposed to dealing with the anxiety of a future valuation event. You have enough unknowns and anxieties to deal with, spare yourself of this one.

Is this a Grant or Debt?

NO. This is a Seed equity investment. It is not a Debt or a Grant. Amidst COVID-19 led global health care crisis and slowdown, there are a lot of good sources of Debt and Grants for startups. We recommend some of those here including the ACT Grant where WaterBridge is a participant donor.

How do I apply to Fast Forward?

Create a StartUp Profile which includes a story deck, video and answers to 10 questions.

How long will you take to respond and for funding and long will Fast Forward last?

Fast Forward is an ongoing programme. Applications will be processed on a first come first served basis. WaterBridge has allocated ₹75 crores (INR 750 Million) for this programme. First window of application submission has a deadline of 22nd May 2020. We will announce the deadline of subsequent application processes later in 2021.

Application
Feedback
Day
0
Decision
Day
5
Money in the Bank
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10
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20

Just like our other investments, WaterBridge will invest in follow-on rounds of your future fund raise.

How are you able to respond so quickly?

Fast Forward programme is a strategic initiative from WaterBridge. Our past experience of investing (partners have over 40 years of fund investing experience) and our investment service providers have enabled us to compress (usually 1 - 2 months exercise) the investment evaluation, due diligence and legal processes so we can respond to your application in a matter of days. We have been working on this initiative for some time but we launched this now as we think it would be particularly useful for startups in the current socio-economic disruption and tight fund raise environment.

Can I do something else other than submitting my Application to get your attention?

Founder diligence is an important element of all of our investments. Generally we track our founder partners for months (sometimes years) before making an investment. Since this is an expedited investment programme, please help us help your case. If you know anyone from the WaterBridge Team, or know anyone from our portfolio founders (Portfolio), or someone you think we may know (and who can vouch for you), please add their LinkedIn profile in the Application (we have a separate question addressing that).

I have applied to Fast Forward but haven’t heard back, What can I do?

We expect to be overwhelmed with applications but we believe that we will be able to respond to you within the promised timelines of feedback and decision (Timelines). Please be patient with us (fastforward@waterbridge.vc).

We are a pre-Series A / Series A stage company raising more than ₹2.5 crores. Should we apply through Fast Forward?

We are a Seed – Series A 1st institutional cheque fund. That means we make our first investment at Seed, Pre-Series A or Series A stage of a startup. If you are raising more than ₹2.5 crores at this stage, then Fast Forward is not for you. We encourage you to reach out to us through Pitch To Us, or as always have someone that knows us both make the introduction. Our contact information is available next to our People profiles.

When is the next application cycle of Fast Forward?

Next application and funding cycle is expected to be in 2021

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