Investment into themes such as Cleantech, Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Web3 will become mainstream in the coming months, according to Sequoia Capital's Managing Director Shailesh Lakhani, even as venture capital firms turn cautious in the current environment.
“EVs, especially EV battery manufacturing technologies and Cleantech will get into the mainstream of investments along with Fintech and Software-as-a-service (Saas) segments in India,” said Lakhani during a panel discussion on early and growth stage trends in India 2022, organised by angel investment platform LetsVenture on August 5.
Despite a global crypto crash and a hazy regulatory environment in India around Crypto, Lakhani said that he is bullish on the Web3 ecosystem.
“We are bullish on Web3, there could be a few bad apples in the lot but there are also many success stories that we are seeing and we should just allow things to settle down and not stop everything because of a few bad apples,'' he said.
In June 2022, Sequoia Capital launched two new funds with a focus on the Web3 startups. Web3 Payments startup Nume Crypto recently raised around $2 million from Sequoia Capital.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Cleantech is becoming very important and startups coming up with solutions around this segment will be growing, said Boston Consulting Group’s Managing Director Saurabh Chandra, who was also part of the panel discussion.
“Lots of bullishness on data, ESG and Cleantech…This is one of the most opportune times to be in,” Chandra said.
Talking about the funding winter, Prayank Swaroop, partner at Accel said that tough times are bringing out the most talented and passionate founders.
"We are not seeing a slowdown right now in consumption or demand but most companies that raised capital for 18 months are able to stretch only for 12 months and that too is unpredictable," said Swaroop.
Despite the funding winter, investors have not changed their basic investment behaviour of evaluating a company or choosing the company to invest in, Swaroop added.
"There are many India specific opportunities that are emerging. I'm very excited to see how the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) will play out," he said.ONDC is a network-based open protocol that will pool and enable local commerce such as mobility, grocery and food delivery to be used by any network-enabled applications of users.