Become an Angel

Membership is by invitation only. A new member should be referred and recommended by a current TCA member (sponsor). Any current member can sponsor a candidate for Membership by sending a profile of the candidate to the secretariat with a short cover note explaining why he/she considers the candidate a potential member.

Interested Candidates can view the Members of TCA in Meet our Angels page and approach us through them or can mark an email to for applying.

The Chennai Angels (TCA), formerly known as Chennai Entrepreneurship Trust Fund,is a group of angel investors keen to facilitate early stage enterprises to grow by providing funding and mentoring support. The Angels agree to the following terms governing the group and membership:

1. Member represents to TCA that:

Member meets the eligibility criteria to be an angel investor capable of making investment decisions and protecting such investments without the standard protection available under Securities law to general investors.

Member understands that TCA, its members, employees and advisors are not responsible for any information, recommendation or advice leading to an investment; for monitoring or protecting the investment; or for any losses or damages suffered directly or indirectly from the investment.

Member alone is responsible for understanding and verifying investment case, making investment decisions and monitoring and protecting investments. There is no agency or partnership arrangement between Member and TCA (or its members, employees and advisors).

Member understands that there is no obligation for Member to invest in every deal presented to TCA. Members are free to not participate in any deal presented to TCA without having to explain reasons for their decision.

Member understands that Angel Investments are extremely high risk and notwithstanding the due diligence there is very high probability that the entire investment will be wiped out. Member represents that he/she has the ability to withstand such loss.

2. Member agrees to:

Abide by, and in the case of Institutional Members, the nominees of the Institution abide by, the Membership Terms governing TCA in force as of date and as amended from time to time and made applicable to all members of TCA. A copy of the Membership Terms currently effective is appended to this Undertaking.

Provide reasonable time to mentor early stage business enterprises when required by TCA. In the case of Institutional Members, the nominees of the Institution are expected to provide the same

3. The membership can be terminated by:

Member any time with immediate effect / TCA in the manner envisaged in Membership Terms any time / The membership terminates automatically upon the member losing ability to meet eligibility criteria or upon death, insanity or insolvency.

4. Member's obligation to comply with confidentiality requirements under Membership Terms survives the termination of this Undertaking.

5. This Undertaking shall be subject to the laws and jurisdiction of Chennai, India.


1. TCA has two classes of membership:

a. Individual

b. Institutional

2. Individual membership is provided to individuals in their personal capacity and not as nominees of an institution. Participation by individual members in meetings will have to be personal and not through nominees. Investment by individual members will have to be made in their personal names, or jointly with members of their immediate family or through wholly owned enterprises/trusts.

3. Institutional members can nominate up to a maximum of three nominees to represent the institution in members' meetings. Investment by institutional members will have to be made in the name of the institution (and not an affiliate of the institution). An institutional member has just one vote whenever a voting takes place to be exercised by the nominee present or by one of the nominees if more than one nominee is present.

4. TCA would be administered by an Executive Committee (EC) elected from amongst members/nominees (angels) with each member carrying one vote.

5. Admission into membership is decided by Membership Committee (nominated by EC) based on sponsorship by at least one angel.

7. Every angel is expected to:

(a) Attend at least 75% of the TCA meetings in a calendar year in person or over phone.

(b) Follow the minimum investment criteria published from time to time. Presently, we expect every member to invest an aggregate of 20 Lakhs per FY in one or more deals.

(c) Participate in at least 50% of the weekly screening calls.

(d) Act as deal champion to take promising deals through to conclusion, as may be requested by Screening Committee.

(e) Aid and mentor investee companies and their management in successful conduct of their business, in their capacity as TCA rep Director, Observer or simply as a mentor.

(f) Represent TCA in events, seminars, conferences as may be requested of member by the Executive Committee.

(g) Aid and assist TCA objectives to the greatest extent possible, including by sourcing good deals.

Persistent failure to comply may be considered by EC as reasonable ground for revocation of membership.

8. Membership can be revoked by EC for breach of terms; for failure to keep up commitments to invest or pay fees; and for other reasons determined by EC.


Investments would be made into early stage business enterprises with some nexus to South India.

Mentoring is as important as money. Angels would provide mentoring support to their investments.

1. Applications shall be received in a standardized format, made available to Angels and shortlisted for presentation by entrepreneurs to Angels in TCA meetings scheduled from time to time.

Angels interested in a deal shall elect one or more deal-champions who shall engage with the entrepreneur to evaluate the prospect and crystallize valuation, structure and closure.

a. All discussions with entrepreneur shall be through or with the knowledge of the deal champion.

b. EC should be kept in the loop by circulation of minutes of meeting.

c. Declines shall be communicated promptly to entrepreneurs.

d. Term Sheets shall be offered in standardized format (variations will have to be referred to EC) and signed by deal champions and entrepreneurs.

2. The term sheet and business case shall be presented to all Angels for offers for subscription within 10 days. In the event of oversubscription, allotment shall be proportionate. In the event of under subscription, the deal shall be turned down unless any Angels are willing to fill the gap.

3. Investments would be made by individual angels directly into enterprises or through an LLP. TCA would be just a facilitator ensuring standardized terms, coordinated mentoring and tracking.


4. Any angel participating in any event on behalf of TCA would have to represent the interests of TCA (and not the interest of the angel) and provide a prompt feedback to TCA after the event. Event includes a meeting to encourage, identify or evaluate investment opportunities.

5. Any angel having any conflict of interest with a proposed investment should disclose such conflict as early as feasible. Angels with conflict of interest shall not:

a. participate in any presentation, evaluation or discussions about such investment and

b. Seek/gain access to any confidential information about the prospect, the investment case or deal terms.

6. Conflict of interest includes:

a. Ownership, substantial investment, management, or board membership in a directly competing business enterprise

b. Arrangement of a reward (in cash, equity or position) contingent upon investment by Angels

c. Relationship or business association with entrepreneurs applying for investment

d. Competing consideration of an investment outside TCA (unless the Angel is willing to now invest only through and with TCA on identical terms)

7. Angels shall not circumvent TCA and have parallel discussions with entrepreneurs for investment outside TCA while TCA is considering a deal with the entrepreneur unless authorized or invited by TCA to do so on behalf of TCA as Deal Champion or as an Investing Angel.

8. Angels are free to engage with entrepreneur directly once TCA rejects an investment proposal.


9. In the course of evaluation, presentation or discussion, Angels may receive confidential information relating to identity startups, entrepreneurs involved, the need for funding/mentoring support, business objectives/strategies, business models, investment case, deal size, deal structure and deal terms. Angels shall not:

a. use such confidential information for any purpose other than the purpose for which such information is disclosed to them

b. treat such confidential information with lesser care than that with which they would use confidential information relating to their own business

10. The obligation of Angels under "Conflict of Interest" shall survive the termination of membership for a period of five years.


11. The decision to invest shall be that of each Investing Angel.

12. The responsibility to monitor and protect investments made is that of each investing Angel.

a. Be construed as an Advisor for the investment.

b. Be construed as recommending or not recommending an investment.

c. Be responsible for reliability or accuracy of any of the representations made.

d. Be responsible for investment case of or terms of investment into an enterprise.

e. Be responsible for monitoring the progress of an investment or protecting the investment.

f. Be responsible for any loss or damage suffered by an Investing Angel.

13. Nothing in this shall be construed as a partnership or agency arrangement amongst TCA, EC, Investing Angels, Sponsoring Angels and other Angels.

14. The terms can be changed by EC from time to time so long as they pass the test of fairness and are applicable to all members.

15. In any conflict between these membership terms and the membership undertaking signed by members, the undertaking prevails over the terms.

1. How do I become a member of TCA?

Membership is by invitation only. A new member should be referred and recommended by a current TCA member (sponsor). Any current member can sponsor a candidate for Membership by sending a profile of the candidate to the secretariat with a short cover note explaining why she considers the candidate a potential member. The sponsor is also expected to brief the candidate on the expectations of a member as set out in the TCA Member Engagement Policy Handbook.

The Executive Committee takes an in principle decision on the suitability of the candidate based not only on the profile, but other environmental information, as well as the skill and domain gaps that need filling within the TCA skill set. Once that is done, the candidate meets two members of the EC over coffee for an in person meeting. The meeting serves to help the candidate understand how TCA functions, and what is expected of him as a member.

A candidate joins as Invitation Member for the first year; at the end of the year the membership is confirmed based on the actual engagement and interest shown by the member against the 6+150 framework.

2. What is expected of me as an aspiring TCA member?

The aspiring member should be someone who can afford to invest in high risk, early stage ventures to provide emerging companies with seed and startup capital. We expect active investors - who contribute their time and experience to evaluate deals and mentor entrepreneurs, as well as offer introductions to appropriate contacts from your network that will help the entrepreneur succeed. TCA members also refer a) startups looking for funds and b) other potential members. Expectations from a member, as well as the objective process of measuring their involvement, are set out in the TCA Member Engagement Policy Handbook. This will be provided to all candidates prior to an actual invitation to membership.

3. Do I sign any undertaking on becoming a TCA member?

Yes, it is mandatory for every TCA member to sign an undertaking document and abide by the rules outlined. The undertaking essentially revolves around ethical conduct as a member.

4. How long does it typically take to achieve an exit in TCA deals?

Well, that varies. Successful exits may take several years. It takes time to build a startup. You'll see failures in your portfolio, but one or two successful exits may make up for all the failures, and more. Early stage investing is fraught with risks but most TCA members are in this to create and nurture a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and bring their personal experience to the table. You should expect an average startup to grow for 3 to 5 more years before a successful exit.

5. What if I do not make an investment for more than two years?

TCA is looking for active members. If you are not making investments or contributing to the growth of the group, then TCA may not be the right group for you.

6. What is TCA's code of conduct for meetings (Entrepreneur Presentations)?

Members should arrive at the venue before the start of presentation. TCA members should note down questions that they may have while listening to the entrepreneur's presentation and raise questions only during the Q&A session. Mobile phones and other gadgets should be put on silent mode during presentations.

7. What is the process for a member representing TCA at events?

When TCA members formally represent TCA as a speaker in an event (through nomination / introduction by TCA) it is essential that they

  • Use the podium to represent TCA (about TCA, its mission, investments, membership diversity, actively seeking new investments, etc.)
  • Should refrain from using the podium to promote one's own business interests.

On returning from the conference or event where they were nominated to represent TCA, members should put together a few bullet points on the event attended and let the TCA secretariat circulate the notes to all members.