INVESTING IN BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE, HUMANE AND HEALTHY WORLD 

India’s first investment fund focused on reducing harm to the planet, animals and human health

 

ABOUT US

The animal-based food and materials industries are among the most unsustainable industries on earth. We need new ways to produce food and materials that cause less harm to our planet, animals and our health.

Ahimsa VC invests in early stage startups that are leveraging and inventing new technologies to build better alternatives using plants, cells and fermentation, for the food and materials sectors.

We support our startups by investing in them, sharing our understanding of industrial ecosystems, and connecting them with our network of global experts.

 

PORTFOLIO

Plant-based seafood

Brew51 makes whole cut plant-based precision seafood products 

Next-gen materials

Ultraw makes affordable bio-based alternatives to leather

 

TEAM

Investment Committee

Jay Karandikar

As Principal of New Crop Capital Trust, a global alternative protein fund, Jay oversees the portfolio of the trust. Previously, he worked at hedge funds in the US and in Japan. Jay graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in Operations Research and Financial Engineering. Jay is a director of Wild Earth and a board observer of Gathered Foods and JUST.

Parag Agarwal

Parag has been a corporate executive for more than 30 years and is currently CFO of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, one of India's largest pharmaceutical companies. He is a chartered accountant and has worked with various MNCs including Unilever, GSK, and Reckitt Benckiser. Parag is also a co-founder and trustee of Tap India Foundation and Ahimsa Trust.

Sandeep Sibal

Sandeep is the CEO of Fourth Frontier, a company that is inventing products to transform sports, exercise, and health. Prior to this, Sandeep was Qualcomm's Country Manager for India and South Asia & VP of Business Development. Sandeep has been an angel investor in the alternative protein space, and is on the board of GiveIndia - India's largest donation platform.

Sethu Vaidyanathan

Sethu is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist. He comes with decades of experience in the corporate world and has invested and funded several successful start-ups in India and abroad. Sethu  founded the Chennai chapter of the People for Animals, is a trustee at the Ahimsa Trust, a trustee at the Chennai Photo Biennale, and a trustee at the Indian Track Foundation.

Shaleen Shah

Shaleen is an entrepreneur and technologist with decades of experience in fintech and consumer lending. He is also an experienced non-profit executive and currently occupies senior roles at several foundations and non-profits such as the Ahimsa Foundation and Million Dollar Vegan.

Investment Team

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Pranav Rajkumar

Pranav is a Chartered Accountant with 5 years of experience across the financial services, consulting and investment landscape. He was previously associated with Deloitte as an auditor followed by a stint with their M&A due diligence team. Prior to joining Ahimsa, he worked with a Real Assets - focused Private Equity firm. 

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Sushanto Mitra

Sushanto is an entrepreneur who has been associated with the early stage ecosystem in India for more than 15 years. with prior experience in consulting and financial services. As the Founder & CEO of Lead Angels – an angel network started by a team from IIT Bombay to assist early-stage investments in start-ups. Sushanto has now taken the network to over 130+ members/investors across the globe.

Advisors

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Suman Sengupta

Suman is a Chartered Accountant and Economics graduate with 25 years of experience across finance, strategic planning and treasury functions. covering the industrial, telecom and IT sectors. Prior to joining Lead Angels, he worked as a CFO for a Tata Group company and Sterling & Wilson. Currently, he heads the Professional services vertical of Lead Angels, overseeing investment in startups and structuring of the same. 

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Chris Kerr

Chris has over thirty years of leadership experience with start-ups and venture capital investing. He has spent the last decade focused on impact investing with a concentration on food markets and the plant-based foods sector. He is the CIO for Unovis, the pioneering venture fund in the sector through its seed fund, New Crop Capital, and its early-stage fund, NCAP Fund II. In addition to serving as executive chair of Gathered, he is a co-founder and director of Wicked Foods, director of BlueNalu, The Livekindly Collective, Pitcairn Financial Group, and Anark Corporation.

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Guhan Jayaraman

Guhan Jayaraman is Professor and Department Head of Biotechnology at IIT Madras. Guhan's primary research interests are in the areas of metabolic engineering for biopolymer production & recombinant protein production. He has authored more than 45 publications & several patents. He was the joint recipient of the BIRAC Innovator Award 2019 and also mentored the IIT Madras Team which won the iGEM 2008 Awards in Foundational Advances and Best-Engineered Biobrick categories. He is also the founder of the Bioincubator facility at the IIT Madras Research Park, established to promote the incubation of start-ups in biotechnology. 

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Ryan Bethencourt

Ryan is co-founder and CEO at Wild Earth, the leading healthy, plant-based dog food company in the US. Ryan is also a Partner at Babel Ventures, Silicon Valley based biotech VC firm, and also Partner at Sustainable Food Ventures, a U.S. based alternative protein fund. Ryan was previously co-founder, former Program Director, and Venture Partner at IndieBio and has invested in over 110+ early stage biotech, food and technology startups as an Angel and Venture Capital Pre-seed and Seed investor (usually cutting the first check) with a combined market value of over $3 Billion. 

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Stephanie Downs

Stephanie is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience founding, building, and selling businesses. She also spent over a decade as a CSR Consultant advising companies on alternatives to animal materials. She founded her first company in 1999, an internet marketing company which she sold in 2014. She founded her most recent venture in 2016, Good Dot, which quickly grew to be the largest plant-based meat company in India. She has been awarded the 40 Under 40 Award in two US states; received the Dewey DoGooder Award from SxSW; and has been a TEDx speaker.

Partners

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