HomeBusiness"Interesting Investment Opportunities Emerges in Challenging Times," says Karan Desai, Founder of Interface Ventures

“Interesting Investment Opportunities Emerges in Challenging Times,” says Karan Desai, Founder of Interface Ventures

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Speaking to the TechGraph editorial team, Interface Ventures’ Co-founder, Karan Desai said, “We believe that interesting investment opportunities emerge in slightly more challenging times.”

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TechGraph: Could you help give a sense of how far Interface Ventures has come since its existence? From when it began to where it is now?

Karan Desai: Interface Ventures has evolved considerably since the platform was launched full throttle in the first quarter of FY 23. It is now considered one of the go-to partners for a large ticket, structured debt solutions in the larger lending ecosystem, and prides itself on the top-quality client partners that it works with.

Interface Ventures is the Promoter shareholder of a fintech company that owns 3 retail lending/investment and savings-related assets which will launch commercially in Q1 of FY 24.

The company believes that these platforms will create exponential shareholder value given the very strong distribution network that Interface has in the financial services space.

TechGraph: What’s the investment philosophy that you follow at Interface Ventures?

Karan Desai: We follow a straightforward and transparent investment philosophy at Interface Ventures. We invest primarily in financial services platforms where we either have full operational control or hold a minority position.

Our focus is to invest in businesses that we understand the Promoters and can control the operational aspects of, which allows us to monitor the business’s growth.

We believe in creating value by leveraging our deep relationships in the financial services space to increase distribution and reduce customer acquisition costs. Our focus is on building sustainable businesses and creating long-term value rather than short-term profits.

TechGraph: What is Interface Ventures’ fund approach to the current market? Are you looking at new markets or using more stringent norms to evaluate a business?

Karan Desai: From an investment standpoint, we will double down on all the investment calls that we have already taken deploying more capital to scale them up faster. New opportunities will be considered opportunistically, only if they are directly synergistic with our existing bets.

TechGraph: What does the deal-making environment look like amid looming recession fears?

Karan Desai: We believe that interesting investment opportunities emerge in slightly more challenging times. Valuations tend to get more real, and people appreciate capital, backed by a strong support ecosystem a lot more.

There is likely to be consolidation across sectors with smaller players that don’t have adequate capital support being acquired opportunistically by their larger peers.

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TechGraph: How are you handling the fund’s existing portfolio and responding to challenges faced by start-up founders?

Karan Desai: We honestly don’t see any challenges in any of our existing investments given that all the investments have been made with a clear philosophy of bootstrapping the platforms until they attain organic profitability and sustenance.

We invest in platforms that address very specific use cases and each of them has a partner-driven distribution model that will help us manage and control our CAC – the make or break for any start-up.

TechGraph: What is your view on the Indian start-up ecosystem?

Karan Desai: The Indian start-up ecosystem is more vibrant than ever now but like any young phenomenon, it now has to mature and reassess what its main priorities should be. We have emerged from a period where relatively easier international capital chased and funded hyper-growth for many tech startups in India.

With the recent tightening of liquidity, poor performance of tech IPOs, and multiple start-up failures, every start-up founder must go back to the drawing board, and the basics of business to build long-term businesses that can generate enough revenue to cover costs and ultimately deliver profit and return to shareholders.

TechGraph: How do you see the recent layoffs made by startups across the sector?

Karan Desai: It is a matter of concern in the start-up ecosystem. We hope there could be another way to handle this but it is a direct outcome of the easy money phenomenon that we saw in the startup ecosystem for the last 2-3 years.

Some start-ups prioritize valuation and hyper-growth over perfecting their business model, leading to overstaffing and overspending. However, I would like to note that not all start-ups are like that, and many founders prioritize the well-being and growth of their employees.

It is also important to understand that running a start-up can be a challenging and unpredictable journey, and founders often have to make tough decisions to ensure the survival and success of their business.

TechGraph: How do you see the angel & pre-stage investment scenario in the country over the next two-three years?

Karan Desai: India is a good story and there will always be investment interest in interesting businesses across their entire lifecycle. What is probably likely to be different in FY 2024 in particular is that investors will be a lot more discerning about where they put their capital, with more preference for profit-generating businesses or early-stage businesses that have a clear path to break even and a sustainable market advantage.

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Krishna Mali
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COP28 UAE: SANY Promotes Green Manufacturing Transformation, Takes Concrete Action to Tackle Climate Challenges

CHANGSHA, China, Nov. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- SANY Group, ("SANY"), a globally leading enterprise of the high-end equipment manufacturing industry, is accentuating advancing sustainable development and the green manufacturing transformation of the heavy machinery industry, ahead of the COP28 UAE, that is set to take place from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai. The theme of the 13-day program this year is "Actionism," calling for people to rise to meet the climate change challenges.

The COP28 will center on four major paradigm shifts – namely accelerating the transition from fossil fuels, agreeing on climate finance shifts, emphasizing the role of people and nature in climate action, and ensuring the summit is an inclusive event that women, indigenous people, local communities, youth, countries and more can all be a part of.

SANY is responding actively and positively to the summit's agenda with concrete actions to promote the transformation of green manufacturing, bringing sustainable solutions to the industries of mining, construction, wind power, and more.

Taking green actions to build a sustainable future

SANY is vigorously expanding the use of green energy (renewables such as solar and wind) in production processes to reduce the reliance on traditional energy sources, lower carbon emissions, and support climate change actions. It has adopted multiple initiatives, especially in accelerating the R&D and application of wind energy, hydrogen, and electrification solutions, and achieved significant results.

SANY's subsidiary SANY Renewable Energy has been investing in and constructing wind farms to boost the proportion of wind power in the energy structure, through intelligent upgrades in manufacturing and creating intelligent workshops. By doing this, SANY Renewable Energy has reduced the overall unit energy consumption and carbon emissions by 15 percent compared to pre-upgrade.

In 2022, SANY has added more than 3,000 energy metering connections. SANY built China's first intelligent mixing station park and invested 3.22 million yuan in photovoltaic construction that will produce 900,000 kWh of power annually. The park will cut 887 tons of carbon emission, 242 tons of dust emissions, 26.7 tons of sulfide, and 13.4 tons of nitric oxide to achieve synergetic development of intelligent manufacturing and environmental conservation.

A total of 11 subsidiaries of SANY have installed photovoltaic power generation equipment, with clean energy usage amounting to 16.013 million kWh.

SANY is actively engaged in the R&D of hydrogen fuel cell technology to improve battery efficiency, reduce cost, and boost the production and storage capabilities, while expanding the applications of hydrogen energy.

Innovation-driven climate action tackles industry bottlenecks

Through establishing a green supply chain, SANY adopts renewable materials and environmentally friendly technologies to reduce resource waste and improve the sustainability of the supply chain.

SANY continues to improve the long-term mechanism for pollution prevention and control, strengthen the control of waste emissions including water, gas, and other hazardous substances, and be cautious of business and operation actions that could damage the ecological environment. In 2022, the group's wastewater and gas emissions met the standard rate of 100 percent, with a 100 percent compliance rate for hazardous waste disposal.

The group is also pushing for using environment-friendly materials to minimize pollution, so that the carbon reduction throughout the product life cycle also includes materials. In 2022, its VOCs emission density was 0.0011 tons per million revenue, a 39.71 percent reduction from the base year.

Meanwhile, the continuous upgrade of production techniques and processes, promotion of energy conservation technologies, and advancement of low-carbon technology development are not only playing key roles in improving production efficiency, but also reducing carbon footprint and aims to reach the "dual-carbon" goals.

Calling for the public's participation

SANY has been carrying out training programs and campaigns centered on environmental protection for employees, while further raising community engagement in terms of green, low-carbon, community-friendly, and educational innovation agendas. In 2022, the company employees completed 687.4 hours of volunteer work, and SANY invested 9.75 million yuan in the year to support 15 public welfare projects.

SANY Construction Industry is leading the green technology application in urban infrastructure construction to accelerate the sustainable development of cities and building intelligent cities, green transportation systems, and energy-conserving architectures to reduce energy consumption, improving urban environment quality and people's livelihoods.

In terms of biodiversity and sustainable development, SANY emphasizes the conservation of soil, ocean, crops, and animals to create a better future, and advocates a circular economy to decrease the waste of resources.

In the context of increasingly severe issues of global climate change, SANY, as a leader in the green industry, is committed to promoting sustainable development and actively joining global efforts to address climate change through comprehensive initiatives such as green supply chains, green energy, and carbon emission reduction.

For more information about SANY Group, please visit www.sanyglobal.com or follow us on Facebook or YouTube.

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