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“Pace of money flowing into early-stage has accelerated… even post-COVID”

The EV segment in India is charged up and Chiratae Ventures’ Karan Mohla tells us which way the road is turning 

After backing more than 80 start-ups and seeing two IPOs, Chiratae Ventures is not letting a pandemic cramp their style. The VC fund dealt with the crisis in phases. First, they slowed down and helped portfolio companies manage costs and the changed market. Second, the fund got back on the saddle; it is back to scouting for opportunities. Executive director Karan Mohla speaks to Outlook Business on the trends that he sees emerging in 2021. Edtech and SaaS get his heart racing, but there are other promising sectors too. Read on.

Can you sum up 2020 for your fund? 

It has been a tale of two or three different phases. The first couple of months were slow because January generally is and also because of how 2019 was. After late March, till about June or July, we held an inward focus, working closely with our founders and portfolio companies, assessing the near- and medium-term impact. It is bit hard to gauge the long-term one. By June-end or July, we had a good handle on things and we started refocusing on what we normally do, even looking at new opportunities. What greatly helped was the tremendous work founders did in normalising things, in responding to what had happened and in changing course wherever needed.

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