Harsha Moily launches $200 million Venture Capital Fund for Climate Technology Sector

Harsha Moily, the son of former Karnataka chief minister M Veerappa Moily, will launch a $200 million venture capital fund focused on the nascent climate technology sector.

The fund will identify promising Indian and Israeli entrepreneurs and companies working in four verticals: sustainable agriculture, green buildings, energy storage, and alternative energy.

"India is nowhere close to the US, Europe, and Israel in developing technology-enabled solutions to climate change. Since climate change is a vast area with huge potential, we have picked out four verticals that account for 80% of our GDP," says Harsha.

The VC firm, which has four general partners, including Moily, has found four to five investors who have expressed interest in committing 30-40% of its target capital. "Once the borders open, I will reach out to a few more investors in the US," Moily said, adding that the round is expected to close by December. Moily has worked in a variety of industries, including agribusiness, private equity, and infrastructure, for over two decades.

In 2006, he established Moksh Yug, a microfinance organisation that collaborated closely with rural dairy farmers. Because of the heavy use of fossil fuels in their supply chain and the waste that they generate, the VC fund will not support solar, hydro, and wind power-related initiatives.

"India needs entrepreneurs who can solve the problem of climate change," Moily says.

He believes that far too much fossil fuel is built into the supply chain of these businesses, and that its materials will end up in landfills once the cycle has run its course.

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."

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 him a better VC.