Enzen’s big bet on startups

Sustainability-focussed Enzen partners with and invests in startups committed to climate change. It also helps industries, governments, and nonprofits adopt clean energy practices.

Enzen’s big bet on startups

Friday July 08, 2022,

5 min Read

Hello Reader,

In history, July 8 is a day of many firsts. Here are some random ones. In 1497, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama started his first voyage to India. 

Then, in 1889, the first issue of the Wall Street Journal was published. 

But in 1932, today marked the day when the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at its lowest during the Great Depression at 41.22 points, a 90 percent loss from the previous peak in September 1929.

Cut to the present and we’re in the middle of another economic downturn. For the first time, the Reserve Bank of India has come out to protect the rupee after a steep depreciation in its value against the US dollar by introducing several measures to counteract this decline.

In other news, insurtech venture InsuranceDekho has closed a fresh funding round of $100 million, sources familiar with the matter told YourStory

SoftBank is in the news again as Rajeev Misra, Masayoshi Son’s chief lieutenant, is stepping down from his role as the CEO of the conglomerate’s Vision Fund II as he prepares to launch a new fund. He will, however, continue as the CEO of SoftBank Investment Advisors, as well as lead SoftBank Vision Fund I—the world’s largest technology-focused investment vehicle with a corpus of $100 billion.

Last but not least, today also marks the release of the Spice Girls’ iconic single Wannabe, and quite appropriate as billions of people across the world croon to the global markets, “Get your act together, we could be just fine,” just maybe not as melodiously. 

Enzen’s big bet on startups

Founded by Satheesh Kumar in 2006, sustainability-focused company Enzen helps businesses, government, non-governmental organisations, and not-for-profits become greener and deploy environmentally sound practices. 

It also allows industries to explore renewable energy options, optimise their operations to reduce carbon footprint, and find ways to reduce carbon emissions.

The company began investing in sustainability-centric startups in 2015 when it pumped in around half-a-million dollars in Luminous Renewable Energy Solutions, which was later renamed Wish Energy.

Key takeaways:

  • Enzen has been actively investing in and partnering with startups that provide solutions for clean energy in India, Spain, Australia, the UK, the US, and other countries.
  • The company has set its sights on an initial public offering (IPO) once the markets quell and has begun discussions with investment bankers. 
  • In 2017, the Indian clean-tech market was valued at more than $25 billion, and this number is expected to increase exponentially. 
Satheesh Kumar

(Design credit: Yash Saxena, Team YourStory Design)

Drone founders cheer PLI selection

Drones are increasingly finding new use cases in a range of roles—surveillance, traffic monitoring, medicine delivery, and agriculture—and the Indian government has taken several steps to give a boost to the industry. 

Last year, it notified new rules for drone technologies to catalyse production. Now, the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced that 23 drone companies had been selected to be a part of the Rs 120 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to make manufacturing self-sustainable and globally competitive.

Industry stakeholders tell YourStory that this scheme comes at a time when drone startups need funding to grow.

"Schemes like PLI only reaffirm the government's faith in the indigenous drone manufacturing community, and that leads to investors and VC funds gaining confidence," said Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Founder and CEO of Garuda Aerospace.

Fine print:

  • The total incentive of Rs 120 crore is spread over three financial years.
  • The PLI rate is 20 percent of the value addition of the company over the three years—one of the highest among PLI schemes.
  • Drone startups and component manufacturers with annual sales turnover of Rs 2 crore and Rs 50 lakh, respectively, are eligible. 

Fitmint: Crypto for fitness

Making fitness goals is easy, but sticking to a dedicated workout is tough. Motivation usually stays only for a few days after one signs up for a gym membership or downloads a new meal tracker app. What if there was an app that would reward people for their efforts? Would that help fitness enthusiasts stay focussed?

This is exactly what Web3 fitness app Fitmint aims to do. The move-to-earn app has inbuilt gaming elements that let you earn rewards in crypto/NFTs (non-fungible tokens) for walking, running, or working out. 

Co-founded by Viren Baid, Rohit Sharma, and Anurag Meena in January 2022, Fitmint aims to create a community of fitness enthusiasts and make people across the world fitter. 

In conversation with The Decrypting Story, Rohit explains.  “We noted how challenging it was to stay in shape. I personally found it difficult to get out of bed every day to work out. So, we decided to co-found Fitmint.”

Get set, go!

  • Fitmint is a move-to-earn game, with the game contract built on Polygon. In the future, the founders plan to integrate it with other chains. 
  • The Bengaluru-based startup intends to integrate its app with fitness wearables like Apple Watch, Fitbit, and others so any physical activity can be rewarded.
  • Last month, Fitmint raised $1.6 million in seed funding led by General Catalyst. The Web3 startup will use the capital raised to expand its team and optimise its marketing and tech infrastructure.

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