Funding / Software / Startups / Technology

Meet Passthrough, the SaaS startup aiming to streamline VC fund closing

The bootstrapped company was founded by Carta alums last year, and has plans to do some fundraising of its own in the future.

Passthrough cofounders (L to R) Tim Flannery, Ben Doran and Alex Laplante. (Courtesy photos)

When a venture capital fund is getting ready to close, there could be countless people — attorneys, investors, wealth managers — involved in getting that subscription agreement signed, sealed and delivered.

If you’re raising with a handful of angel investors, the process will look a lot different than it would than with a corporation or LP. There ought to be a workflow to address these differences, Passthrough’s cofounders thought last year.

In 2020, Ben Doran and Alex Laplante left their jobs to pursue the venture full-time, and this past spring were joined by Tim Flannery. The three cofounders had all worked at Carta, which services the investing space. They’d experienced the the clunkiness that can surround completing subscription agreements and aimed to invite everyone into the process, while creating some transparency and a more seamless workflow.

Through the platform, subscription documents can be distributed via email, submissions are checked for compliance in real time, and documents can be executed electronically. Once the agreement is uploaded, the platform custom builds it with only relevant information and questions for the type of partners involved.

The doc lives online, and fund managers can see how far along it is in the process. Investors can also complete W-9s, upload W-8s and share KYC documents through the same portal.

Their primary customers for the bootstrapped company are the people behind the funds themselves who are navigating the process with whatever partners might be involved in a transaction. Flannery said he foresees fundraising this year.

“We have been working with small, million-dollar special purpose vehicles to private equity and real estate funds, all paying customers,” Flannery said.

The Passthrough workflow. (Courtesy image)

The trio are ready to start hiring, Flannery said, and they’ll likely be focused on building teams in New York and Philadelphia. The founders are distributed — Flannery is in Center City, Doran is in New York and Laplante is in Silicon Valley — but they feel it’s important to be able to bring people together to work some of the time. They’re seeking engineers, designers, account executives, and a director of operations and customer success in those two cities or remote.

“I believe Philadelphia is a pretty under-tapped region with its talent, with the ability to really build something here,” said Flannery, who moved to the region for business school at Wharton in 2016.

The SaaS platform is built by Laplante on Google Cloud, Python, React and Go. Laplante brings the company’s engineering expertise, while Doran specializes in product and sales and Flannery brings the go-to-market strategy. It’s a large part of why Flannery was persuaded to join the team as a cofounder a few months ago, he said.

“It’s a fully complementary team that’s solved problems like this before,” Flannery said.

Companies: Passthrough / Wharton School

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