India@75: A nation in the making

Put women entrepreneurs at the forefront to help the climate challenge: Climate Collective's Pratap Raju

Climate Collective's mandate is noteworthy in that one of its specific aims is to support women entrepreneurs in the area of climate change, with the funding platform including an equity crowdfunding network

Harichandan Arakali
Published: May 31, 2022 11:50:28 AM IST
Updated: May 31, 2022 12:05:56 PM IST

Put women entrepreneurs at the forefront to help the climate challenge: Climate Collective's Pratap RajuPratap Raju, cofounder, Climate Collective Image: Hemant Mishra for Forbes India

Multiple venture capital (VC) firms are consciously funding startups that are addressing climate change concerns, and devising solutions for a clean and sustainable world. Read about them here.

Climate Collective is a not-for-profit organisation that also includes a VC seed fund. The founder, Pratap Raju, was a JP Morgan banker in New York. Pratap, who grew up in the US, moved to India and turned entrepreneur in IT, and later in the solar and wind project development space for over five years before starting Climate Collective in 2016—a solar hackathon was one of its first activities.

The following year, it launched its first cleantech accelerator, ClimateLaunchpad, in Maharashtra. By 2018, it expanded to four more states, and Sri Lanka as well. Over the last three years, close to 500 cleantech startups have joined this programme in India and South Asia. By 2019, Climate Collective expanded its work to include funding, education, policy research and community activities.

 Climate Collective’s mandate is also noteworthy in that one of its specific aims is to support women entrepreneurs in the area of climate change.

 Put women entrepreneurs at the forefront to help the climate challenge: Climate Collective's Pratap RajuThe funding platform includes an equity crowdfunding network, an angel network and “our own pre-Series A fund”, says Nalin Agarwal, a founding partner of Climate Seeds, the Collective’s VC fund. “We are looking at a first fund raise of $15 million, and we want to invest in 90 startups in the first three-and-a-half years.” The firm will also raise a larger Series A focussed fund as well.

 “No one was really interested in this back then and most people were telling us to get into fintech,” Pratap recalls. “The last few years exploded. It is perhaps the fastest growing sector or sub-sector in India, because cleantech isn’t just energy, it’s transformational across industries.”  

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(This story appears in the 03 June, 2022 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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