Sustainability, welcome the market. PayTM founder backs Massive Fund

At a well attended  event held to discuss the big issues on the sustainability front, the Massive Fund, a fund focused on finding market led approaches to solve the biggest environmental problems of our times, was launched in New Delhi yesterday. At a targeted corpus of $150 million, the fund promises to back start-ups or any firm, in a stage-agnostic way to ensure quality innovations and breakthrough ideas get the opportunity they deserve to make it big and make a positive impact.  The fund, launched by Shailesh Vickram Singh, a VC formerly associated with Seedfund, has the considerable heft and backing of Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder, Paytm. VSS, as he is popularly known has been an active backer of early stage firms for a long time now, and the Massive fund marks a significant shift in his focus and commitment to a cause he believes in. He comes in as a limited partner formally.

While exact funding details in terms of firm commitments and other LP’s were not available, Singh says that the fund will look to back 18-20 firms in its first year. For now, Singh expects to make investments between $2-$4 million in the selected startups, a figure they hope to scale up as the corpus meets its targeted scale. In terms of overall funding, Singh expects other limited partners, foundations and more to step in over the coming months.

As a step towards that, they have already set up an incubator at Noida, the Gomassive Incubator, which, they claim, received 300 applications from interested startups in the space, of which 10-12 have been selected for a three week bootcamp.

With the funds goals aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for the planet, the launch event had a considerable presence from various UN agencies and their leaders.   The fund also hopes to work closely with educational and research institutions like NRDC, IIT Delhi & IIM Lucknow and Sustainable India Finance Facility (SIFF). Areas that will receive special attention would be food and agriculture, air and water pollution, renewable energy, recyclables like e-waste and plastic, mobility and sustainable built environment.

Iamrenew was the media partner for the launch event, the Massive Earth Summit.  Keep watching this space for detailed reports and videos from the summit!

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