Nature Fix Climate (NFC) Ventures, a $200 million climate-tech-focused venture capital fund, launched by Harsha Moily, son of former Karnataka chief minister and union minister Veerappa Moily, and former Abraaj India MD Balaji Srinivas, hopes to hold a first close by the first quarter of calendar year 2022.
The Bengaluru-based fund has received significant LP (limited partner) commitment already and is aiming to raise about $100 million for the first close, Moily told Business Today.
“We’ve spent a couple of months in the US, meeting investors. We knew that we are up against a few headwinds. First of all, it’s a climate tech fund in India, a nascent sector. Secondly, it’s our first fund. However, what we received was a pretty positive response,” he said.Anchor investors in the fund will include high net worth individuals (HNI), asset management division of a large investment bank, a fund of fund, and the venture capital arm of a large agri enterprise. The category II Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) will have a third GP, based out in Israel, which is a market outside India the fund is interested in. “We are looking at Israel on two fronts. First of all, it’s a more mature market in terms of technology. We would like to back startups there and open up the Indian as well as global markets for them. Secondly, we are looking at technology transfer from Israel to India. That’s the reason we need a strong GP in Israel, who will also double up as an operating partner,” he added. Moily, who has an MBA from Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management (USA), previously worked in agribusiness, private equity, telecom, hydrocarbon and agribusiness sectors with companies such as Amas Investments, Reliance Industries, and Cargill. Srinivas, prior to his 15-year stint at the Indian arm of Dubai-based private-equity firm Abraaj, worked with The Carlyle Group and Intel.
NFC will invest primarily on seed and Series A start-ups in four climate-tech verticals -- green buildings, energy storage, sustainable agriculture and alternative energy, with ticket size beginning at $5 million on the lower side to up to $15-20 million including follow-ons. It is currently scouting for start-ups building technologies that reduce the green premium.The 10+2 years fund is targeting a total of 18-20 investments, of which 12-14 deals would be in India and 6-7 in Israel. “We expect the inflection point of EVs and other sectors to arrive in about 5-7 years from now. While we are first off the block, we will see a lot of activity around climate-tech in the next 3-5 years. That’s why a 12 year lifecycle. The idea is to generate a deal flow now, so once we do a first close in the first quarter, we can start investing immediately after that,” Srinivas said.
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today