The ‘Patron for Clean Air’ for UN Environment and one of the biggest hustlers in the Indian startup ecosystem, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, has decided to embark on a new journey with venture capitalist Shailesh Vickram Singh with a fund called Massive Fund for environmental protection.
Massive Fund claims to be the country’s first, stage-agnostic, sector-focused, deep science fund with the aim of targeting the major problems the world is facing in the areas of food and agriculture, air and water pollution, renewable energy, recyclables like e-waste and plastic, mobility, and sustainably built environment.
Massive Fund will invest in startups, companies, and individuals working for pollution reduction aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
It aims to drive an investment of $150 Mn in these sectors over the next few years.
Massive Fund aims to build an ecosystem to reduce pollution by partnering with academia, R&D labs, mentors, professionals, and venture funds across the country.
The capital for the fund will be raised from institutional and high net-worth investors who are aligned with the objective of saving the environment.
Further, Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Shailesh Vickram Singh have also formed an incubator called GoMassive, which is working closely with leading educational and research institutions such as NRDC, IIT Delhi, IIM Lucknow and the Sustainable India Finance Facility (SIFF).
GoMassive is running boot camps and conducting hackathons across Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Bengaluru to groom young startup teams to foster a spirit of green energy-led entrepreneurship.
On the development, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO, Paytm said, “There is an urgent need to bring in technological solutions for reducing pollution. Through this initiative, we will provide adequate funding for innovations that can reduce air, water, and plastic pollution efficiently on the scale. Our efforts, through this fund, will be to ensure that capital does not get in the way for innovative solutions to beating pollution.”
With more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist, Shailesh Vickram Singh has been associated with startups in the tech space since early 1999.
He is passionate about technology, agriculture, income inequality and rural poverty.
Commenting on the development, Shailesh Vickram Singh, Managing Partner, Massive Fund, said, “We aim to encourage young entrepreneurs to innovate and build solutions such as pesticide-free food, plastic removal, biodegradable packaging, CO2 absorption, pollution-free cities and sustainable housing, which are crucial for our well-being. We will support our portfolio companies with high-end R&D labs and take insights from research institutes, scientists & academia.”
He added, “We will also facilitate interactions with large industrial conglomerates to validate and utilise their new-age tech solutions. I strongly believe if we do not solve this now, then when, and if not us, then who?’”
Environment-Focused Funds In India
As a newbie to environmental concerns in India, Massive Fund and GoMassive join a growing list of few funds and incubators/accelerators that have identified the need of cleantech and have been investing in the segment.
Some of the biggest names that run incubator programmes focusing on the environment include the Indian Angel Network incubator, which is sector agnostic, focused on cleantech, manufacturing, IT, web-enabled services, healthcare, foodtech, ecommerce, fintech etc.
Then we have the Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship, IIM Ahmedabad, which invests in information communication technology, cleantech and social, big data, cloud, payments, and fintech.
The 2018 MASSIVE Earth Summit, which brought together thought leaders from diverse fields to share their views and insights on the ‘pollution-as-resource’ mindset.
The Pollution Reduction Industry, a $15 Tn opportunity, is constituted by companies that leverage pollution to create and sell products and services, and, in the process, reduce it.
The Summit addressed an audience of 400 industrialists, venture capitalists, angel investors, bankers, senior government officials, foreign delegates and representatives from academia, think tanks, and the media.
At the time when the world is coming together to focus on the environment and save the planet, an attempt to fund cleantech startups and incubate them through Massive Fund and GoMassive can be a huge step in the right direction.