Huddle and Merak Ventures have announced the launch of ClimAct, a climate tech accelerator programme to accelerate and fund early-stage startups in the climate tech space
The programme has received over 190 applications, mostly from pre-seed and seed-stage startups in the mobility, transportation and agritech spaces
Huddle and Merak will host a webinar on ‘The Climate Tech VC Opportunity’ on December 20, 2022, to provide a first-hand look at the climate-tech funding landscape from top-tier funds, startups, and experts
To help India achieve its net-zero carbon emissions target, Huddle, an accelerator-led fund for India’s early-stage ventures, and Merak Ventures, an early-stage VC firm, have announced the launch of ClimAct, a climate tech accelerator programme.
The programme aims to accelerate and fund early-stage startups in the climate tech space working in five major areas — agricultural waste and supply chain efficiency, mobility and transportation, climate finance, carbon accounting and sequestration, and related digital solutions.
The programme has received more than 190 applications since November 8, 2022, mostly from pre-seed and seed-stage startups in the mobility, transportation and agritech space.
During the 16-week programme, the selected startups will dive deep into business planning sessions with access to key resources from day one. The startups will be paired with a dedicated core mentor and be a part of a series of masterclasses to work on capital restructuring, fund utilisation, team planning, and pitch building, among other topics. The final leg of the programme will concentrate on future venture planning and fundraising.
The selected startups will receive an upfront pre-seed capital of $200K each and a follow-on investment of up to $1.5 Mn.
In addition to providing early-stage funding, the four-month programme will help the shortlisted startups during the building and validation phases. It will also provide startups with a networking opportunity for pilot programmes to validate their products.
Clean Mobility Leads The Charge
To kick off the programme, Huddle and Merak will host a webinar on ‘The Climate Tech VC Opportunity’ on December 20, 2022. The one-hour event will have Merak Ventures’ Sheetal Bahl and Huddle’s Ishaan Khosla give a brief overview of the climate tech sector in India.
The session will focus on how India’s ambitious COP27 goals need to be supported by investment from VC firms in the climate-tech sector in conjunction with profound policy changes to further innovation. India has seen a host of policy reforms and record investment, particularly in the EV and clean-mobility sector, along with a heightened focus on renewable energy and phasing-down of fossil fuels.
Bahl and Khosla will explore how with similar investment, support and follow-up, identical growth can be expected in clean and renewable energy, waste management, green infrastructure, supply chains, and digital solutions.
The Climate Tech VC Opportunity
Bahl will be joined by Omnivore’s Mark Kahn and Matrix Partners’ Sudipto Sannigrahi who will offer insights into the current climate tech funding landscape. They will discuss how investments in climate tech are gaining momentum in private investor circles.
Given that 2021 was a watershed moment for climate tech investments, the funding landscape is at a crossroads. 2021 superseded the previous three years in terms of the amount of investment the space received. However, even with $2 Bn invested, it makes just under 2% of India’s $1 Tn needed by 2030. This is why enabling access to climate finance is the need of the hour.
The investors will also assess where India stands in comparison to the United States or Europe in terms of climate technologies combating climate change. They will talk about how India is at the right stage to learn from its western counterparts who have already gone through the hardware investment cycle and are now maturing into pure proprietary disruptive climate tech firms.
Challenges Of Running A Climate Tech Startup
The virtual event will conclude with RACEnergy’s Arun Sreyas, Climes.io’s Siddhanth Jayaram and Huddle’s Ishaan Khosla discussing the challenges of running a climate tech startup from the operator’s perspective.
The founders will examine what it takes to build in India for India at scale, what it means to manage hardware and software in-house, and the impact of central and state policy and subsidies on climate tech startups in India.
They will also touch on the need for support beyond investment capital and how incubators, accelerators, and corporate innovation partners can help shape the climate tech sector. Access to critical resources such as infrastructure, capital, mentoring, and an early-stage startup network can provide a well-needed shot at reaching India’s climate goals.
India’s Net-Zero Carbon Emissions Target
With a climate crisis underway, India is particularly vulnerable to its effects, ranking seventh in the global climate risk index. In a bid to combat this risk, India has set a timeline of 50 years to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070. The efforts, however, have been hampered by an uneven push toward innovation, and investment access.
India’s climate change reversal requires significant groundwork, including fostering, accelerating, and investing in innovative early-stage startups that address critical pain points related to the country’s vulnerability to the climate change crisis.
With India’s race to net-zero energy well underway, venture capital (VC) investment is one of the most significant boosts a country can receive in meeting this target.