Harsha Moily plans to launch $200 m climate tech fund

India needs entrepreneurs who can solve the problem of climate change, Moily says. (Representational Image)

Harsha Moily, the son of Congress leader and former union minister Veerappa Moily, is in the process of launching a $200 million climate-tech venture capital fund with a focus on four verticals: Green buildings, energy storage, sustainable agriculture, and alternative energy such as hydrogen and nuclear power. The VC fund, he says, would back entrepreneurs in India and Israel who can develop products and services that will reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions and achieve scale. Moily says, “Once the borders open up, we plan to go on a roadshow to raise funds from the US, Europe, and Israel, and hopefully achieve financial closure by the end of this calendar year.”

After years in microfinance, agribusiness and being involved for three years in election campaigns and organising workshops for party workers, Harsha Moily, a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona, USA and also a bachelors in business administration from the US, sees politics as a closed chapter as a career option. Instead, he wants to “dedicate the rest of life to combating climate change.”

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Quoting data from International Finance Corporation (IFC), he says, Climate tech will be a $3.1 trillion opportunity by 2030 in India. He realised that he did not have visibility in financing at that scale and therefore got inspired to go out and raise funds. He says, “India needs entrepreneurs who can solve the problem of climate change.” Moily says he is clear that the fund will not invest in solar, wind, and hydro energy firms, as he believes that way too much fossil fuel is built into the supply chain of these businesses, and its materials after it has run its course would end up in landfills.”

The VC fund will invest in disruptive technologies. The fund is to form partnerships with best-in-class technical institutions, universities, incubation centres, and technologists in the climate-tech space that can help entrepreneurs access world-class technologies and human resources.

Moily also says, “I continue to believe that politics, done the right way, is the highest calling of mankind. But after two misadventures in politics, I’ve realised that I am clearly not cut out for it.” Now, he “plans to utilize his 12 years of work experience in the USA, UK, in hydrocarbon, telecom, and infrastructure sectors, in addition to 10 years as an entrepreneur in the agri sector in India, to start a career in investing and believes his “life experiences would make me him a better VC.”

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