Venture beyond capital

Skalata gives you more time, more guidance, and more hands-on support than any other investor in Australia. That’s the value you don’t see on a cheque.
Shopshare co-founders, Emma Inteman and Joel Inteman
Who we work with

Founders come to us for 3 reasons

“If we didn't work with Skalata, we wouldn't have put together the sales and business processes needed to really scale. We're years ahead.”
Michael Tutek – Co-founder, Preezie

They want to unlock growth

Feel like you’re treading water? We can rev your growth engine and unlock that J-curve.

They want to de-risk their business

Sure, you could go it alone. But it’s safer (and quicker) with experts by your side, helping you make the right decisions.

They want need to move fast

We balance short-term speed with long-term strategy. Let’s get you ready for Series A.
“If we didn't work with Skalata, we wouldn't have put together the sales and business processes needed to really scale. We're years ahead.”
Michael Tutek – Co-founder, Preezie
Support model

All the ingredients for long-term success

We’re pushing all of our resources, know-how and connections into the ring. So what does that look like?

All the funding you'll need

We make initial investments up to $300k, and can then follow-on up to $1 million. When you’re ready to go another round, we'll loop in our fund investors.

A dedicated partner

We'll pair you with a one-on-one Venture Partner. They're an expert working on your company full-time. Their only business? Your business.

Full stack support

Get ongoing strategic and tactical advice for whatever problem you’re facing. Need help with cashflow forecasting? Go-to market? Pricing strategy? Hiring? Done.

Expert advisory

We'll work with you to appoint the best independent advisors to help you grow, and attract amazing talent and investors. It's all about creating a "virtuous loop" in your business.

The full journey

Our help doesn’t end with seed. We’re here for as long as it takes. Advice, support, further funding, industry connections – whatever you need.

Decades of experience

We’ve helped grow hundreds of early-stage companies over the years, and we’re putting all that experience in your pocket, so you can see around corners.
Support Model

On your side.
By your side.

From GTM strategy and product development to company culture and tech infrastructure, we’ll offer advice we can actually help implement. Always frank, always constructive, always based on experience. Here's some quick examples of things your venture partner can help you with.
Interviewing CTO candidates
Honing your pricing strategy
Preparing for a big client meeting
Interviewing CTO candidates
Honing your pricing strategy
Preparing for a big client meeting
Drafting a revised budget
Developing clear performance metrics
Analysing your go-to-market strategy
Drafting a revised budget
Developing clear performance metrics
Analysing your go-to-market strategy
Support expanding into the US & Europe
Identifying new revenue streams
Pivoting your business model
Support expanding into the US & Europe
Identifying new revenue streams
Pivoting your business model
Figuring out your ideal tech stack
Refining your pitch deck
Figuring out your ideal tech stack
Refining your pitch deck
Helping with customer validation
Helping with customer validation
Reviewing your sales script
Building your product roadmap
Improving your governance structure
Reviewing your sales script
Building your product roadmap
Improving your governance structure
Completing a skills gap matrix
Developing a fundraising plan
Helping with cashflow forecasting
Developing a fundraising plan
Helping with cashflow forecasting
Completing a skills gap matrix
Support Model

Product. Market. Fit.

Skalata helps startups in all kinds of ways. Here’s just a few things we’ve done for our portfolio companies.
Support Model

Ready for Series A and beyond

Book an Artist founder, Gaurav Kawar with Mr Yum founder, Kim Teo

Work in and on your business

Skalata's model gives you the time to work on your business (i.e. strategy, governance) and in your business (i.e. customer acquisition, product development) without having to worry about your funding needs – now or in the future. We tailor our support to suit your cadence, your goals and your team's unique skill-set.
“Before Skalata, we were thinking about Book an Artist as a normal business, but now we understand how to think about it as a marketplace, what metrics to track and how to really grow.”
Gaurav Kawar – Founder, Book an Artist
Style Sourcebook founder, Lisa Cousens

Substance over hype

There’s a lot of hype and hustle in the VC world, but we want to get back to substance. It’s all the necessary, unsexy stuff you’ll thank us for later – financial forecasting, good governance, honing your business model, hiring the right people... There’s a reason later-stage investors love Skalata companies. It’s because they get the fundamentals right.
“As a solo founder, I hit a point where I couldn't progress any further without the right support. Skalata helped me build the dream team to grow Style Sourcebook into what it is today.”
Lisa Cousens - Founder, Style Sourcebook
Choovie co-founders Shane Thatcher and Sonya Stephen

Friendly but frank

If there’s a pattern we see in founders, it’s a tendency to run before they can walk. And that’s fine – enthusiasm is a wonderful thing. But every founder needs at least one person in their corner who isn’t afraid to say, “Yeah, maybe don’t do that. Try this instead.”
“Without Skalata's guidance, we'd probably still be trying to crack the B2C space. They helped us pivot and ensure we were on the path to success.”
Sonya Stephen - Co-founder, Choovie
Tablogs founder, Declan Vanderhor with Deployable founder, Sam Hussey

Your company needs company

Being a founder is rough. You sign up for late nights, but no-one tells you about the doubt, or the drudgery. We want to help you sleep better, not just work better. Skalata is a shoulder to lean on, and the first number you call when things don't go quite to plan. We work through challenges and cheer the little victories together. In other words, you don’t have to do this alone anymore.
“I’m so much more confident as a founder now – a lot of it was just programming me to think bigger. Being around super talented peers and having that support system really urged me on.”
Declan Vanderhor - Founder, Tablogs
Support Team

Powered by people

Skalata’s value is our people, and their experience building seed-stage companies. It’s hard to put a dollar value on having that one-on-one, immediate feedback loop.

You get hands-on support from people who have helped build and exit high-growth businesses. Some earned their stripes in Silicon Valley, and others right here in Australia.
Support Team

Venture Partners

Your Venture Partner provides both hands-on strategic and tactical support. Translation? They’re the person you call the night before a big client meeting. They know your coffee order as well as they know your cap table. They’re a shoulder to lean on. A sounding board for big ideas. The direct feedback no-one else will give you.
Shahirah Gardner

Shahirah Gardner

Get to know Shah
Guy Franklin

Guy Franklin

Get to know Guy
Mark B Johnson

Mark B Johnson

Get to know Mark
Support Team

Venture Associates

Your associate is usually the first person you’ll meet at Skalata, and they’re with you for the entire journey – from that very first chat to Series A and beyond. Each Venture Associate works hand-in-hand with a Venture Partner, and each brings their own unique skills to table. They're yours to call on when you need them.

What we do

You know your market and we know seed-stage company development. We'll offer sensible, tailored advice, and then help you actually implement it. Day in. Day out.
Weekly coaching sessions
On-call support
Tech/GTM stack advice
Pricing and revenue strategy
Product roadmap development
Go-to market strategy
Hiring plans

What we don't do

Generally speaking, we won't work in your business, only on it. This is how we add the most value, both short-term and long-term. Teach a founder to fish...
Micromanage or VC-splain
Recommend going all in on growth, until you've got product market fit
Tell you want you want to hear
Makes sales calls
(but we'll sit in to give you feedback/write the script)
Undermine your long-term prospects by making you reliant on us
(we'd rather fund you to hire/build what you need)
Founder Stories

Overnight success doesn't happen overnight

We helps startups navigate the seed stage and come out the other side – stronger, more capable and ready to scale.

It’s how we turned a little freight and shipping company into a logistics powerhouse. Or scaled a simple e-commerce plugin into a global SaaS solution.

Over to you. Any Questions?

How will Skalata help grow my company?
You can break our offering down into three broad areas:

Growth funding: when you join Skalata, you’ll receive $50k to $300k of initial funding, with follow-on rounds available up to $1 million. In return, we’ll receive an equity stake in your business. When you’re ready for more, we’ll introduce you to our fund investors, and handle all the heavy lifting. You’ll never need to look beyond Skalata’s network for growth funding.

founders are matched with a dedicated Venture Partner. Someone with deep seed-stage experience. These are founders, investors, operators and SaaS experts. Our Venture Partners provide coaching week-in and week-out.

Advisory Network: each company also gets access to a network of experienced business leaders, operators and founders. These advisors will help you with governance and discipline within the business. They can also open doors to talent and new customers, or help facilitate international expansion.
How did Skalata design this support model?  
Short answer? With a lot of hard work! It’s taken time, trial and error to refine our development process, but we think we’ve got it humming along nicely now. It involves three main ingredients.

The team: the Skalata team and board has created, built, advised and exited successful companies across Australia, Asia and the US. We’ve also funded and worked with hundreds of companies at the seed stage for over a decade. It’s literally all we do. Our CEO, Rohan Workman and COO, Maxine Lee were part of the founding team of the first university-based accelerator in Australia (Melbourne Accelerator Program – MAP) back in 2012. 

International best practice: to inform our approach, we used insights from people who run the world’s leading accelerators, seed funds, universities and venture capital firms. These include Y-Combinator, StartX Stanford, Accel Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Techstars, Oxford, Cambridge and Right Side Capital Management, among others. 

Extensive local research: prior to launching Skalata, we conducted five intensive months of customer discovery in Australia and abroad. We interviewed 100+ people, including: pre-seed/seed-stage founders, founders at a later stage (post Series A), and people who invest in or work with early-stage companies. Through these interviews, we uncovered: what early-stage founders need help with, what later-stage founders wish they’d done earlier, and what investors need to see in companies in order to back them.
How much support do I get?

Each company is assigned a Venture Partner. They’re your primary point of contact, and the one driving your venture development. But you’ll also get a Venture Associate as a secondary point of contact, plus access to the broader Skalata venture team, our advisory network, investors, experienced founders, operators and business leaders. Our Venture Partners will work on your business, but not necessarily in your business. Their sole purpose is to help you get your company to the next level. They can help with:

  • Setting and achieving business goals
  • Understanding your strengths and weaknesses as a founder
  • Working through specific challenges or risks
  • Developing a powerful operational cadence
  • Improving your business infrastructure
  • Additional operational support (i.e. hiring, negotiating a major contract, pivoting the business, scripting your sales calls)
What does the first month of support look like?
First week: we spend a lot of time getting to know the founding team, understanding your vision, your goals, and your high-level plans.

Second week: we conduct a deep-dive into what’s worked well in the past (and what needs work moving forward). We also want to know what you're feeling more or less confident about. Next, you’ll meet with our Venture Partners as a team and be allocated a lead point of contact depending on your goals and priorities, and who we think might be the best fit for you.

Third week onward: our venture team will support you within your working style – whether you prefer short check-ins, longer working sessions, or something totally different. It’s all about finding a cadence that suits you. In the first instance, a weekly check-in is usually a good way to go, but this depends on your specific requirements and preferences.
Is founder support the same for everyone?
Definitely not! For the same reason that no two companies are the same. The Skalata experience is unique to you and your business. There will always be fundamentals and best-practices to keep in mind, but the goals, challenges and strategies will be tailored exclusively to you.

There are no workshops, no homework and no compulsory lectures. Our support will suit your stage, your cadence, and your growth plans. You’re in the driver’s seat, and you get to manage your own time. The last thing we want to do is micromanage our founders.
What's the ultimate goal of all this support?
Ultimately, to make you a success. But there are a few objectives that can lead to bigger and better things. These include:

Develop a growth engine: helping you achieve your growth targets. We also help you build the team, systems and infrastructure to scale.

Achieve product-market fit: helping you measure where you stand in respect of product-market fit. What it means, and how to optimise it. 

Build a sustainable business model: helping you develop a viable business model with healthy margins and unit economics to ensure consistent, sustainable growth.

Pitch? Perfect.

To get started, tell us a little about your company. We personally respond to every pitch we receive, and try our best to get back to you within a couple of days.
We need to see a pitch deck to accurately assess your company. If you don't have one, you can contact us over here.
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Thanks! We've got your pitch and will take a look shortly. Expect to hear from us within a couple of business days. In the meantime, check our new founder-focused content platform, KnowHow (shameless plug).
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