Venturing Beyond Profit: Ankit Kedia's Climate Tech Investment Journey at Capital A - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Net Zero by Narsi is a series of brief posts by Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi), on decarbonization and climate solutions.
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In this interview, Ankit Kedia, founder of Capital A, delves into the firm’s strategic focus on climate tech investing. From their unique approach to navigating the challenges of the sector to highlighting standout investments, Ankit provides valuable insights into the world of climate innovation.

Narasimhan Santhanam, Director, EAI interviewed Ankit Kedia, founder of Capital A. Here are the highlights and takeaways.

Narsi: Hello, Ankit. It’s great to have you on the show. Thank you for joining us for the Climafix Summit Insights Series. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and Capital A’s focus on climate tech?

Ankit: Thank you for having me. I’m Ankit Kedia, the founder of Capital A, a VC firm investing in early and seed-stage startups across various verticals. Climate tech is a significant focus for us. Before Capital A, I was part of the promoter group of Manjusri Technopark, India’s largest rigid plastics products company. Currently, I also work on sustainable packaging with Manchester. We’re deeply involved in the Indian climate innovation ecosystem as investors and entrepreneurs.

Narsi: That’s fascinating, Ankit. Could you elaborate on Capital A’s investment strategy and the sectors you’re involved in?

Ankit: Sure. Capital A is a 250 crore fund based in Bangalore. We allocate 40% of our capital to fintech, another 40% to climate tech, and the remaining 20% to other sectors. When it comes to climate tech, we recognize the need for patience and support due to the sector’s complexity and the lack of immediate revenue. Our approach involves not just deploying capital but also providing guidance and resources to help founders navigate the early stages.

Narsi: How does your approach to investing in climate tech differ from other verticals, such as fintech?

Ankit: While certain principles remain consistent across all investments, such as the importance of a strong problem statement and dedicated founding teams, climate tech requires a unique approach. We place a high value on founder experience, particularly in navigating the challenges of building early-stage startups. Additionally, collaborative investing is essential in the climate space, as it allows for shared insights and resources to support the growth of startups.

Narsi: It sounds like climate tech presents its own set of challenges. How do you address these challenges in your investment strategy?

Ankit: Indeed, climate tech is not always the most investor-friendly sector, with cautious investment trends over the past few decades. We approach investments in climate tech with a focus on validation and collaboration. Co-investing and building a community of believers in the climate space are key strategies for us. We’ve seen success in partnering with other funds and investors to support promising startups in the climate tech ecosystem.

Narsi: Can you share some highlights from Capital A’s investments in climate tech?

Ankit: Certainly. We’ve had some exciting investments in the EV and mobility space, such as e-chargeup, a company pioneering battery swapping for electric vehicles in Delhi. Another standout investment is Oorja Energy, which focuses on deep tech analytics for various industries, including EVs. We’re also proud to support companies like 1090, led by a talented team from IIT Chennai, who are making significant strides in sustainable transportation solutions.

Narsi: It’s impressive to see the diversity of startups you’re involved with. Looking ahead, what are your plans for furthering Capital A’s involvement in climate tech?

Ankit: We’re committed to doubling down on our efforts in climate tech investing. We aim to onboard experts and develop a meaningful thesis around climate innovation. Participating in events like the Climafix Summit allows us to connect with like-minded individuals and continue supporting the growth of the climate tech ecosystem.

As we conclude this insightful interview with Ankit Kedia, it’s evident that Capital A’s commitment to climate tech investing goes beyond mere financial backing. Their approach, grounded in patience, collaboration, and a keen understanding of the sector’s complexities, sets a benchmark for venture capital firms looking to make a meaningful impact in the realm of climate innovation. With promising startups in their portfolio and a dedication to furthering their involvement in climate tech, Capital A stands poised to drive positive change in the world of sustainable entrepreneurship.

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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