Team Collaborative: Meet Tejinder Gill
I am excited to join Collaborative Fund as a principal in San Francisco.
My first job was selling TVs at Sears. I knew more than any person should about display types, lighting impact, warranties, wall mounts, and more. Even still, it was a drop in the bucket relative to what the Internet offered. My value proposition as a salesman at Sears was sidelined by upstarts like Amazon, who leveraged technology to reinvent commerce for the better. Looking back now, I’m thankful to Sears for affording me a front row seat - between lonely aisles of TVs and electronics - to the monumental stage of technology and its impact on traditional industries. My time at Sears, at the front lines of disruption, inspired me to enlist in finding and supporting the next generation of disruptive companies. Fast forwarding to about four years ago, I was fortunate to make that transition a reality and begin my apprenticeship backstage, as an investor, doing exactly that.
My first three years in investing were spent focused on growth stage companies at a well-established firm in NYC called Insight Venture Partners. During my time there, I spoke to nearly a thousand founders and evaluated over a hundred mature consumer and software companies. The sheer volume of exposure instilled in me a sobering appreciation for the wide-ranging challenges founders face in scaling from early traction to IPO-readiness. While there, I had the privilege of investing in and supporting exceptional and visionary founders like Jason Tan at Sift Science, and Nick Romito and Ryan Masiello at VTS. I was also fortunate to witness first-hand the scaling strategies employed by marketplaces like EZcater, consumer subscription companies like Aaptiv, and more recently as a personal investor at fintech software company Carta.
Almost a year ago, in pursuit of serving founders earlier in their journeys, I joined a data-driven venture firm in the Bay Area called Social Capital. While there, I shifted my focus from helping companies define strategies for scaling to $100M+ of revenue to empathizing with and helping companies as they overcome hurdles in finding and accelerating product-market fit. Accordingly, I’ve been grateful to invest very early in, and work for, incredibly promising companies like direct-to-consumer brand Bloomscape, construction labor marketplace Faber, spend management software vendor Negotiatus, jewelry subscription company Switch, modern retail platform RaaS, and personally in front-end abstraction platform Mason. Furthermore, I was able to appreciate the challenges in unlocking critical supply in highly trust-dependent markets, as in Social’s latest investment in WeeCare, which is successfully reimagining daycare.
A few months ago, I was fortunate to personally invest in a remarkably clairvoyant founder named Susannah, who is building a flexible housing marketplace called Flip. This investment resulted in me serendipitously crossing paths with the co-lead for the Series A - Collaborative Fund. After spending time with Craig, Taylor, Lauren, and the rest of the Collaborative team, I realized that we all held deeply the same simple, but profoundly important, conviction in investing. Companies are not only built to solve problems in unique and enduring ways, but the best ones also embody an infectious drive to make the world a better place.
In fact, we are spirited to know that this conviction is not only held within Collaborative Fund, but also shared across our portfolio of iconic, world-changing companies like Lyft, Reddit, Blue Bottle and many more.
I’m grateful to be bringing my experience from the growth and venture stages to the earliest moments in company building as I now focus on Seed and Series A investing alongside the incredible team at Collaborative Fund. If you share our vision for the future, we would be privileged to meet you and learn more about what you have in mind.