This is a story. A reflection. It’s why we started our Co-Founder Startup Studio and it’s a flavour of where we’re going.

First, a bit of a backstory.

Before MOHARA was born to this world I founded a digital agency with my Dad and a friend called Prisha called Say Digital in 2011. Say Digital was a simple-ish web design and development company where we built everything from small brochure sites in 2011 to Virtual Reality content management systems by 2016 (yes, a VR CMS in 2016 – defo before its time, probably before a time that will never exist).

Throughout our glorious 5 years as an agency and rather by chance, the vast majority of our customers were early stage startups or founders. In fact, Ben Blomerley, MOHARA co-founder and COO was actually Say Digital’s first customer following his MBA at INSEAD.

What did I learn from those 5 years working with founders?

Honestly, they were struggling. They couldn’t find a partner to build their tech for what they could afford nor could they find an engineer to become their technical co-founder. If they could find someone, relationships often broke down, there wasn’t true alignment in their goals, money was spent poorly and the same mistakes were made all the time. Genuinely the exact same mistakes – another article will come on that doozy of a topic.

Almost all had been burnt and all had set some cash alight along the way. These founders were totally unsupported. However most were great, very bright people who were brave enough to give it a crack but were non-technical and often didn’t know the first thing about building products.

Through 2016 I came to realise that the opportunity of continuing to work with these driven, demanding, capital light, time short, sometimes brilliant founders was way too much to pass up ;)

Did I want to build a lifestyle agency business or build something more significant, something with a fresh take on how to build startups between the stages of pre-seed and series-A: the key formative and critical stages of every startup.

Say Digital was retired. MOHARA was born.

Backstory over.

MOHARA’s Mission

We strive to turn good ideas into reality for the pioneers, partnering with them to build businesses that will change people’s lives for the better.”

With that mission laid out we went to market with two ideal customer types:

  • Non technical founders: experts in their “why”, in need of support for understanding the “how” and building the “what”.
  • Anyone who wanted to build something innovative: those willing to live a little in uncertainty and create something bold.

Even today, some 7 years on we still use phrases like ‘Pioneering Together’ and ‘Be Ambitious. Build Bold’ in our messaging. These statements still reflect our mission and the mindset of our ideal customer well.

Along with our mission we naturally landed on a core value set that embodies and represents the type of company we want to be and founders we want to work with. They are:

  • Vision
  • Honesty
  • Courage
  • Invested

These values are of course represented in wider considerations of our ‘why’. Trying to stay on the theme of keeping things succinct, let’s go with a bullet pointed list :)

  • Opportunity. This startup studio gives opportunities to founders to get their ideas validated, built and out there. Like all new businesses it gives founders the capability to create opportunities for others.
  • Every good idea should have a chance to shine. We wanted to remove some barriers to entry for non-technical founders.
  • To create an organisation that thinks like a founder and can function and thrive in uncertainty.
  • A commercial model that offers true alignment, where we only win when our founders win.
  • To build products that people want to use. That people know they need or do not know they need. Yet.

To find out more about our ‘why’, I have uploaded an internal video that I created a while back about our ‘why’ for our most important audience, our team:

With the ‘why’ out of the way, I want to draw a little attention to how we operate.

How does our Startup Studio operate?

MOHARA Ventures is a Co-Founder Startup studio. That means we do not originate the ideas internally like a lot of other venture and startup studios. Instead we invest in and work with entrepreneurs who have their “why” and bring the “how” and the capability to do the “what”.

Since our inception we have invested in 35 founders, achieved 3 exits and expanded to have offices in 5 countries.

In August 2023 we will be launching the next phase of MOHARA Ventures – an evolution of our startup studio that we believe will offer more support, guidance and resources from idea through to series A. I am incredibly excited about MOHARA Ventures 2.0 and can’t wait to continue our support and investment in the startups of the future.

Get in touch

If you are interested in finding out more about our Startup Studio do not hesitate to contact us