Our primary goal at Tempus Partners is to back great founders building unique companies.
We approach that goal as founders and investors. We have a deep desire to understand each company we meet, to grasp the problems being solved by a product, to come at the opportunity with an open mind, to gauge reality, and to openly discuss how backing you will help you realise your future.
But what do we mean by unique? We mean companies and teams with a breathtaking ability to execute on their plans, even at an early stage. It means unique founder ability, unique product vision, unique competitive advantages, unique approaches to solving customer problems, and grasping a big market opportunity in a unique way.
We are not sector specific, but we are looking for startups that are globally scalable, and preferably with B2B products. We’re looking for companies operating in vast markets (global) that can support their growth. Don’t get us wrong, if you can win big and build a monopoly high-value company in Australia , then do it — we’ll back you. But if you’re in a competitive space (local or global) we want to see a compelling product and vision that is unique and differentiated, and we want to understand how you plan to win in a market big enough to sustain more than one competitor.
Doing a lot with little? We love companies that can scale from a low base off very little capital. We get growth needs investment… but there’s so much free support, free software and low-cost acquisition channels available that establishment costs should be relatively low while you’re building an early customer base. From there, we want to see sustainable unit economics, short to medium sales cycles, and recoverable returns on customer acquisition within reasonable timeframes.
What do you understand that others don’t? We are searching for founders who truly understand their intended customer. This may come from a unique insight into the problem because the founders had the problem themselves, or they worked in an industry with high-friction problems not evident to existing players. We look to founders for this insight because its critical to identifying and adapting to new opportunities. Tell us why your product is valuable, why your market is important and what you’re learning reinforces your vision.
We want to see pioneering founding teams, with a real sense of their vision, the skills in place to achieve the vision, and a technical achievability to a product — even if its going to take time. We are searching for companies building something new, in uncharted environments.
Too broad and abstract? The following criteria dials-in our focus:
The big picture principles set out above guide our investment thesis, and work into the following product features and business models we like to see:
If your business doesn’t fit neatly into these categories, that’s ok. If you can articulate how your business matches our goal of backing great founders building unique companies, we’d love to chat.
Over the last 4 years we applied this investment thesis to our first fund and Fund 2. Over time we will continue to refine and adapt it to complement founder visions, and a rapidly changing tech environment.
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