Driving Sustainable Change: Ankit Kedia on Capital A’s Investments and Impact

Exploring Capital A’s Focus on Climate Tech and Sustainable Solutions.

1-Can you share some insights into Capital A’s future plans and any new developments we can expect from your venture fund? 

There are a number of untapped areas within the climate sector that offer tremendous potential and we are focusing on them for our future investments. For instance, there is the area of energy management which is by and large unaddressed. A lot of work is required in the EV battery chemistry arena as well. Recently, lithium reserves were discovered in Kashmir and Rajasthan, but to harness these reserves would require a lot of infrastructure build up, and we need to take action in this direction. Capital A also recognizes the crucial nature of lithium processing and battery recycling. 

We are also looking at the solar financing, water management, digitization of water supply systems, and reducing energy consumption. The key is to integrate industry 4.0 and 5.0 through both hardware and software solutions to address climate challenges. 

From an operational perspective, we anticipate some lucrative exits in 2024, post which we plan to raise a second fund in late next year / early 2025 to the tune of XX.  

2-What are your views on the current state of the investment ecosystem, and how do you see it evolving in the coming years? 

The current state of the investment ecosystem in India is marked by both promise and challenges. India has emerged as a hotbed for investment opportunities, fueled by a rapidly growing economy, a burgeoning middle class, and a thriving startup ecosystem. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has been on the rise, with sectors like technology, e-commerce, and renewable energy garnering substantial attention from international investors. Additionally, the government has introduced several reforms to ease the process of doing business and attract foreign capital.

The investment ecosystem in India is expected to evolve further in the coming years. The digital revolution will play a pivotal role, as FinTech and blockchain technologies enable greater financial inclusion and innovation. Moreover, the sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria are becoming increasingly important, shaping investment choices. As India continues to urbanize and modernize, sectors like infrastructure, healthcare, and green energy are poised for significant growth, attracting both domestic and foreign investments. Regulatory clarity and stability will be crucial in fostering a conducive environment for investors. Overall, India’s investment landscape holds enormous potential, but success will depend on adaptability, regulatory reforms, and a focus on sustainable, inclusive growth.  

3-Capital A has shown a keen interest in investing in B2B startups. What drives this focus, and what advantages do you see in this sector? 

Our keen interest in investing in B2B startups is driven by several compelling factors that offer distinct advantages in this sector.

Firstly, scalability is a key driver, as B2B startups can experience rapid growth once they secure a few critical enterprise clients. As they expand their customer base within a specific industry or market, the potential for exponential revenue growth becomes evident.

Additionally, B2B relationships tend to be more resilient, with higher customer retention rates compared to the B2C market. Businesses rely heavily on B2B solutions for critical operations, making them less inclined to switch providers, thereby ensuring more stable revenue streams.

B2B startups can also thrive in niche markets with specialized needs, allowing them to establish competitive advantages and pricing power. This, in turn, leads to higher profit margins and reduced competition, making the sector attractive for investors.

Another noteworthy aspect is the longer lifespan of B2B solutions. Unlike consumer products, B2B technologies and services tend to be adopted by businesses for extended periods, providing a more stable and predictable investment environment.

B2B startups often have opportunities for cross-selling additional products or services to existing customers, thereby increasing their revenue and customer lifetime value, which is advantageous from an investment perspective.

The B2B sector offers promising exit opportunities, as larger corporations seek to enhance their product offerings or expand into new markets by acquiring innovative B2B startups. Such acquisition exits can yield attractive returns for venture capital investors.

Lastly, B2B startups typically incur lower customer acquisition costs (CAC) compared to their B2C counterparts, as they can focus on a relatively smaller number of high-value clients. This efficiency in acquiring customers enhances the overall attractiveness of B2B investments.

4-Could you provide your perspective on the various industries you have invested in and your vision for their future growth and impact? 

Capital A has strategically diversified its investments across a range of forward-looking industries, including electric vehicles (EV), fintech, circular economy, and cloud manufacturing. In the EV sector, our vision revolves around promoting sustainable transportation solutions, reducing carbon emissions, and supporting the electrification of mobility. In fintech, Capital A aims to drive financial inclusion, streamline banking services, and enhance digital payment solutions to empower individuals and businesses alike. Our investments in the circular economy reflect a commitment to sustainable practices, recycling, and minimizing waste while creating economic value. Lastly, in cloud manufacturing, our focus is on leveraging advanced technologies to transform traditional manufacturing processes, improving efficiency, and fostering innovation. Capital A’s vision for the future is to not only generate financial returns but also contribute positively to societal and environmental challenges, ensuring a lasting impact on the industries they invest in.

5-Your fund, ‘Evolve,’ is dedicated to electric mobility ecosystem startups. How do you view the role of venture capital firms in backing sustainable transportation solutions? 

Venture capital firms play a pivotal role in advancing sustainable transportation solutions by providing crucial financial support and expertise to startups and innovative companies in this sector. They empower these businesses to develop and deploy cutting-edge technologies, such as electric vehicles, renewable energy-powered transportation, and smart mobility systems. VC funding facilitates research and development, allowing for the creation of more efficient, eco-friendly, and cost-effective transportation options. Additionally, these firms help sustainable transportation startups scale their operations, expand their market reach, and compete effectively, ultimately accelerating the transition towards a greener and more sustainable transportation ecosystem. In doing so, venture capital firms not only drive innovation but also contribute significantly to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the environmental impact of transportation.

6-Climate tech is gaining momentum. Can you share your thoughts on the booming climate tech sector and the role of venture capital firms in supporting innovative solutions for the climate crisis?

  • Risk Tolerance – VCs are typically willing to take on the highest levels of risk in the financing ecosystem. This risk tolerance is essential for supporting innovative and disruptive climate solutions that may have longer development timelines or unproven business models.
  • Access to Networks – VC firms provide startups with access to their extensive networks of industry experts, potential customers, partners, and other investors. These connections can be instrumental in driving market adoption and partnerships.
  • Portfolio Diversification – VC firms often invest in a diverse range of climate-focused startups across different sectors, such as clean energy, sustainable transportation, agriculture, and more. This portfolio diversification can help spread risk and increase the likelihood of discovering effective climate solutions.
  • Scaling Impact – VC-backed startups have the potential to scale rapidly, which is critical for making a significant impact on climate change. VC funding can help accelerate the deployment and adoption of climate-friendly technologies.
  • Exit Opportunities – VC firms facilitate exit opportunities for climate-focused startups, such as acquisitions by larger companies or initial public offerings (IPOs). These exits provide liquidity to early investors and allow startups to access more resources for growth and impact.


7-Sustainability and socially responsible investing are on the rise. How is Capital A approaching this trend, and what do you look for when seeking startups focused on a more environmentally friendly future? 

Capital A is fully aligned with the growing trend of sustainability and socially responsible investing. The firm recognizes the importance of addressing environmental and social challenges while seeking profitable investments. When scouting for startups committed to building a more environmentally friendly future, we emphasize on several key factors:

Impactful Solutions: We seek startups that offer innovative solutions with a tangible and positive impact on sustainability. This could include ventures focused on renewable energy, carbon reduction, waste reduction, or any area that contributes to a greener future.

Strong ESG Practices: The firm evaluates a startup’s commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. They look for companies with robust sustainability practices, ethical business operations, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Scalability: Capital A prioritizes startups with the potential for scalability. We seek ventures that can grow rapidly and achieve significant market impact, thereby advancing sustainability goals at a broader scale.

Market Opportunity: Capital A assesses the market opportunity and demand for the startup’s sustainable products or services. We consider factors such as market size, competition, and the potential for disruptive innovation.

We also look for startups led by experienced and passionate teams with a deep understanding of both the sustainability challenges they aim to address and the business acumen needed for success. We evaluate a startup’s track record and milestones achieved in the sustainability space. This includes assessing partnerships, pilot projects, and any measurable positive outcomes.

8-Impact investing is becoming increasingly popular. How does Capital A balance financial returns with positive social and environmental outcomes in your investments? 

Capital A’s approach to balancing financial returns with positive social and environmental outcomes in its impact investments is marked by several key strategies and principles:

Patience and Long-term Perspective: Capital A acknowledges the unique nature of climate tech startups, which often require significant capital expenditure (capex) and have deep technology at their core. Understanding the extended gestation period and recognizing that exits may take more time than traditional investments is essential. This long-term perspective allows us to support and nurture these startups through their growth stages, fostering their potential for both financial success and positive impact.

Defining a Clear Impact Thesis with Sector Focus: Capital A prioritizes the alignment of its investments with specific social and environmental goals. We focus on sectors such as electric vehicles (EVs), energy storage, and sustainable packaging, where the businesses’ core models inherently contribute to positive social and environmental outcomes. By concentrating on these sectors, we ensure that our investments have a built-in potential for generating positive impact alongside financial returns.

Adopting Impact Measurement Standards: To quantify and assess the social and environmental impact of their investments, Capital A considers adopting established impact measurement standards. Examples mentioned include the Impact Management Project (IMP), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). These standards provide a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of investments in achieving their intended impact goals, allowing us to track and report on the positive changes its portfolio companies are making.

9-What kind of impact do you believe venture capitalists can make by investing in startups dedicated to a cleaner and greener Bharat? 

Venture capitalists investing in startups dedicated to a cleaner and greener Bharat can have a profound impact on several fronts. Firstly, they play a pivotal role in fostering innovation and technological advancements in areas such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, waste management, and clean transportation. By providing these startups with much-needed capital and resources, venture capitalists enable them to develop and scale their solutions, thereby addressing critical environmental and social challenges in India.

Additionally, these investments contribute to economic growth by creating job opportunities and stimulating entrepreneurship in the clean energy and sustainability sectors. They also aid in reducing pollution and resource depletion, leading to a healthier and more sustainable environment for all citizens. Furthermore, venture capitalists can help promote sustainable practices and technologies that have the potential to improve the quality of life for millions of people in India while mitigating the adverse effects of climate change. Venture capital investments in cleaner and greener startups have the power to drive positive environmental, social, and economic changes, making a significant and lasting impact on a cleaner and greener Bharat.


10-Pitching to VCs can be daunting for founders. In your experience, what is the most significant mistake a founder can make when seeking investment from a venture capital firm like Capital A? 

Founders especially the young entrepreneurs who embark on entrepreneurial journeys as rookies often face the scenario where they have great ideas, but not adequate understanding of the market dynamics. Sometimes, you would find them short of due diligence, and at other times, too much emphasis is given by them on the funding and projections part, and they don’t have enough clarity about operational plans or profitability roadmap etc. Some of the key mistakes that I have often noticed among startup pitches are:

Lack of Market Awareness: Failing to conduct thorough market research and understand the competitive landscape can be a critical mistake. Venture capitalists want to invest in startups that have a deep understanding of their target market. Founders should demonstrate their knowledge of market trends, potential customer segments, and the competitive landscape. This awareness is essential to show that the startup is well-positioned to address market needs effectively.

Overvaluation and Inflexibility: Overvaluing the company and being inflexible in negotiation can be a major turn-off for VCs. It is essential for founders to be realistic about their company’s current stage of development, traction, and market potential. Setting an unreasonable valuation or refusing to adjust it can lead to a breakdown in negotiations. Founders should be open to discussions and willing to adapt their valuation based on market realities and investor feedback.

Transparency in Due Diligence: Transparency is crucial, especially during the due diligence process. Attempting to hide or downplay important issues, such as legal challenges, financial difficulties, or key customer losses, can damage trust and credibility. VCs are sophisticated investors who perform thorough due diligence, and any attempts to conceal information can lead to a loss of confidence and potentially scuttle the deal.

Lack of Clear Fund Utilization Plan: Founders should provide a clear and well-thought-out plan for how they intend to use the investment funds. VCs want to know how their money will be used to drive growth and achieve specific milestones. A vague or incomplete plan can raise concerns about the founder’s ability to manage finances and allocate resources effectively. A well-defined roadmap for fund utilization demonstrates that the startup has a strategic vision and is committed to responsible financial management.

Neglecting the Relationship: Building a strong relationship with the VC is crucial for the long-term success of the partnership. Treating the investment as a purely transactional exchange can harm the potential for a fruitful, ongoing relationship. Founders should view VCs as more than just sources of capital; they can provide valuable mentorship, guidance, and connections. Building a collaborative and trust-based relationship with the VC can lead to additional support and resources beyond the initial investment.