India’s venture capitalists seek to verify the impact they make

Funds want domestic and foreign investors to see the effects of backing climate tech, microfinance and agrifood businesses.

India’s venture capitalists seek to verify the impact they make
Workers separating wheat from husk. Around 600mn of India’s 1.4bn population is reliant on subsistence farming © Prakash Singh/Bloomberg

Impact investing is growing, but too slowly given the staggering annual funding gap of USD2.5 trillion to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. And the greatest challenges for people and planet won’t stand for half measures. We need much, much more impact capital to increase prosperity and social progress for all, eliminate inequalities and injustices and preserve the planet.

That's why we've teamed up with the Financial Times for the second time to put impact in the big headlines and on the front pages. And to mobilise more mainstream capital for impact.


Globally, venture capital funds make up one-third of the private impact fund universe; but in India, they account for 85 per cent. As such, these Indian funds play a leading role in investing for impact, by tackling the structural inequalities that exist in the country, while also seeking financial returns for investors. And that is putting more focus on how the funds can ‘verify’ the impact they actually make.

There are many sectors in which venture capitalists can make a difference. Mark Kahn, managing partner at Indian VC firm Omnivore, points out that 600mn of the country’s 1.4bn population still get by on subsistence farming. “The vast majority of these are poor,” he says. “If you’re building for India, you must also be building for impact as well.”