Founder’s Playbook: The Solo Founder’s Survival Guide


The entrepreneurial journey is often romanticised with tales of heroic successes, but, in reality, it can be surprisingly solitary. While some successful companies have started with only two or as many as eleven co-founders, there are also numerous solo entrepreneurs who achieve remarkable accomplishments. Yet, finding a compatible co-founder can be elusive, leaving determined entrepreneurs with a crucial decision to make: go it alone or let the opportunity slip away.

As venture investors, Genesis has had the privilege of engaging founders from diverse backgrounds, building connections that stretch as far back as 2015. Throughout the years, we’ve witnessed these founders endure a rollercoaster entrepreneurial journey, braving challenges like Covid and equity winters, and, of course, embracing triumphs.

Now, we are thrilled to present our Founder’s Playbook series, a collection of curated insights and experiences gathered from these remarkable founders. This series serves as a treasure trove of wisdom, where seasoned entrepreneurs share their valuable knowledge and hard-earned lessons with the startup community.

Whether you are a budding entrepreneur navigating the early stages of your venture or an experienced founder seeking guidance in uncharted territories, our Founder’s Playbook offers a reservoir of practical tips and inspiration to fuel your own journey. Embrace the knowledge shared within and join us in fostering a community of support and growth, as we continue to shape the future of entrepreneurship together. Do get in touch with us should you be interested to share your own war stories with the founder community.

Meet Niles Toh, the solo Founder who launched FoodRazor in 2015 as a SaaS business revolutionising F&B procurement and accounting processes. His first job fresh out of university was with a B2B SaaS company in 2014, managing regional sales and business development. It didn’t take long for Niles to see the potential of B2B SaaS as a profitable business model, sparking his desire to start his own venture. His father frequently shared his experiences dealing with inefficiencies in the F&B supply chain, which sparked the idea that this was an area where he could build a solution. Efficient ordering processes for ingredients are vital for a restaurant’s success as they directly impact the quality and consistency of the dishes served. By streamlining and digitizing this process, restaurants can optimise costs and reduce waste, while ensuring a delightful dining experience for their customers. This motivated Niles to start FoodRazor to address these issues.



Niles’ Journey in his own words

Being a solo founder came with its own trials and tribulations. One of the central challenges I grappled with was the limitations in my expertise and the sheer lack of bandwidth. In hindsight, I realized the immense value and strength that a co-founder could bring to the table. Initially, I had a co-founder, who unfortunately had to leave after a year due to personal financial concerns. As we were self-funding the business at that time, we couldn’t offer the stability he needed. This valuable lesson guided my approach when starting my current venture, SuperTomato, where I have the privilege of working alongside a dedicated co-founder.

Reflecting on my journey as a solo founder, I’ve identified some key aspects I would have done differently:

Seeking a Co-Founder from the Outset: I started with a co-founder who has the technical skillset that I am lacking. When bootstrapping a company, I think it’s more important to find a co-founder with both financial resources and time to commit to the long haul. The journey often takes more time than anticipated, so having someone dedicated to the process is vital.

Building a Strong Support Network: As a solo founder, the road can be isolating, and at times, overwhelming. In retrospect, I would have actively sought out and built a robust support network of mentors, advisors, and fellow entrepreneurs to share experiences, gain insights, and stay motivated.

Expanding beyond a Domestic Market: Initially, I thought we should concentrate on Singapore and establish a strong presence here before venturing abroad. However, I have come to realise that it would have been more beneficial for us to go global right from the start and allow our paying customers to direct us toward the most promising markets for expansion. Waiting for the perfect moment to be “ready” will only hold us back.

Methodical Fundraising Process: As a founder, it’s crucial to dedicate sufficient time and effort toward identifying suitable investors. This is particularly important for new entrepreneurs who lack working experience and require more guidance. It’s essential to identify an investor who can offer valuable advice and serve as a reliable sounding board, especially during the initial stages of your entrepreneurial journey.

I wish every Founder much success in their endeavours!



In June 2021 after six years at the helm, Niles made the difficult decision to exit FoodRazor. There was a buyer ready to take over the business and he recognized that he had reached a point of burnout and no longer felt he was the right person to lead the company. 

Nonetheless, his unwavering passion for solving complex problems has been reignited after a much-needed break to re-energise himself. He has since embarked on his second startup,, a hardware-focused venture which is already profitable. This time, Niles is joined by a co-founder who is a serial entrepreneur who has started multiple successful businesses. The presence of a co-founder has made a palpable difference, providing essential support and even sparking the inception of a third startup,, which emerged from SuperTomato’s requirements. 

Overall, Niles would summarise his mantra as “Think Big, Start Small, Go Fast!” and the startup journey, though challenging, is fulfilling and rewarding. Follow his journey on LinkedIn


Reporting by Nicole Lim, Investment Analyst Intern, Class of 2023.