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India's Inclusive Disruptive Leap: 3one4 Summit 2024

April 2, 2024
10 mins

The Summit 2024 was uniquely positioned to encourage a convergence between the world and India's tech-led value creators. Bringing together distinguished speakers and participants from across the globe, the event served as a nexus for global collaboration, fostering the exchange of ideas and forging synergistic partnerships across sectors. This initiative is aligned with our broader vision of nurturing a globally connected Indian ecosystem that is resilient, adaptive, and growth-oriented.

Keynote Address | Pranav Pai

Setting the tone for the day Pranav Pai, Partner at 3one4 Capital, delivered a keynote address that reflected how the firm’s portfolio's performance has intersected with broader macroeconomic trends. The retrospective analysis highlighted 3one4 Capital’s adaptability and foresight in an ever-evolving economic landscape.

Over the last two years, the global venture capital industry has navigated a turbulent macroeconomic environment. Despite these challenges, 3one4 Capital has been a steadfast champion of innovation and growth, aiding 47 of our companies in securing 60 follow-on equity rounds at higher valuations.

Our journey has been one of intentional growth and unwavering support for the founders we invest in. Pranav noted, "With every fund, we've been intentional in our evolution as we've backed founders, worked with them post-investment, and helped consistently deliver outcomes every month, every quarter, every year."

As our companies mature, their cap tables become more impressive. We're now working with the world's largest mega-caps, investors, and allocators to India on the cap tables of our largest companies. Over 300 institutional investors have partnered with us to help these companies grow into large outcomes.

India's GDP is projected to reach $10 trillion by 2027 or 2028. This economic growth, combined with India's formalisation and a new wave of entrepreneurship, presents a significant opportunity for venture capital. India's population size presents unique opportunities for innovation. Indian apps have set records for download rates, showcasing the potential for population-scale solutions.

Our meticulous investment approach, deep market understanding, and commitment to sustainability are more than strategic assets; they are the foundation of our vision to shape the future of innovation in India. Having raised six funds to date, 3one4 Capital is one of the fastest-growing VC firms in India. The firm now manages over INR 4,200Cr in committed capital. The combined market capitalisation of the companies in its portfolio exceeds $8.13 billion. This success story is not just ours but a shared narrative of resilience, innovation, and growth that characterises India's startup ecosystem and its potential on the global stage.

Our Theses at Work | Anurag Ramdasan

Anurag reflected on 3one4 Capital's eight-year journey of sourcing and nurturing transformative startups. He also articulated the firm’s investment theses and the foundational theories guiding our decisions.

With a leap from evaluating around 850 companies in its first year to a robust 8,000 startups annually as of 2023, the firm has mastered a tech-driven approach to understanding and navigating the ecosystem.

Anurag shed light on the Indian consumer market's vast potential, evidenced by high gross margins and substantial annual run rates achieved by portfolio companies like Licious and Kapiva. This success underscores the depth of opportunity beyond tier-one cities and the firm's ability to unlock value in diverse market segments.

The narrative extends to the firm's engagement with technological innovation and deep tech. Companies like Unbox Robotics and Exponent epitomise the firm's belief in India's capability to produce world-class technology and engineering solutions. 3one4 Capital’s portfolio resilience amidst economic fluctuations showcases not just strategic foresight and a rigorous selection process, but also the intrinsic value and efficiency of Indian innovation.

Through a nuanced analysis of trends, outcomes, and strategic pivots, Anurag unpacked the essence of 3one4's investment philosophy, showcasing a firm deeply embedded in the fabric of India's startup ecosystem, poised to catalyse and capitalise on its expansive growth and innovation potential.

Redefining India Risk | Nilesh Shah and Siddarth Pai

Nilesh Shah and Siddarth Pai offered new insights into contextualising and understanding India's risk landscape, addressing persistent outdated perceptions about investing in the country.

Siddarth opened the discussion by lauding India's developmental journey post-independence, emphasising the shift from a socialist-driven economy to one embracing market-led growth since the liberalisation era commenced in 1991. Nilesh Shah provided a compelling comparison between the bullish markets of 1992 and 2024, attributing the current optimism to domestic investments fueled by conviction rather than the speculative greed of the early '90s. He highlighted the transformative economic strides India has made, moving towards becoming a developed nation by 2047, and delineated the outdated risk profiles that no longer apply to the contemporary Indian market.

Mr. Shah insightfully navigated through India's history, pointing out the dichotomies of progress and regression, from the tragic tale of Dr. Subhas Mukhopadhyay to the missed opportunities in Singur and the regulatory challenges faced by innovative industries. These anecdotes underlined the multifaceted risks in India, from judicial processes and populist opinions to regulatory hurdles.

In the face of these challenges, Mr. Shah remained steadfast in his optimism regarding India's future, drawing parallels to cricketing icon MS Dhoni's strategic play, suggesting that India is on its path to accelerated growth and liberalisation, albeit with occasional hurdles. He emphasised the pivotal role of governance and regulatory support in nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit, showcasing India's transition from a recipient of global talent to becoming a cradle for pioneering entrepreneurs and innovations that have achieved global recognition.

The discussion also ventured into the realms of regulatory risks, market inefficiencies, and the pivotal role of governance in investor confidence. Mr. Shah's optimistic perspective on India's economic resilience and potential for growth was inspiring, highlighting the significant strides made in infrastructure development, financial inclusion, and nurturing of a conducive environment for entrepreneurship.

In closing, Nilesh Shah and Siddarth Pai turned their focus towards global investors and entrepreneurs, offering advice on navigating the Indian investment landscape with an emphasis on understanding and leveraging the unique opportunities and risks it presents. Mr. Shah's closing remarks encapsulated the essence of investing in India - a market replete with the potential for unprecedented returns, but not without its share of challenges and the need for a nuanced understanding of its dynamic environment.

The conversation painted a picture of a nation on the cusp of monumental economic and social transformation, driven by a blend of historical wisdom, regulatory foresight, and entrepreneurial vigour.

Rising Demand for Indian Innovation | Mudit Dandwate, Pramod Ghadge, Arun Vinayak, and Nruthya Madappa

The fireside chat explored the growing global interest in India's tech and innovation sectors, highlighting the opportunities and challenges this presents for investors and entrepreneurs alike.

Moderated by Nruthya Madappa, Partner at 3one4 Capital, Mudit Dandwate (Dozee), Pramod Ghadge (Unbox Robotics), and Arun Vinayak (Exponent Energy) shared insights on the transformative potential of Indian startups. Their discussion underscored the essence of deep tech innovation, revealing how India serves not just as a market but as a global testbed for solving universal challenges.

Mudit detailed Dozee's mission to revolutionise healthcare monitoring, turning any bed into a step-down ICU, a move driven by the stark need during COVID-19. His poignant revelation that "every 100 Dozee beds deliver 210 life-saving alerts annually" underscores the significant impact of their technology.

Pramod Ghadge, recounting Unbox Robotics' journey, highlighted the challenges and aspirations of deploying robotics solutions globally, emphasising efficiency and adaptability in meeting the demands of dense and dynamically expanding e-commerce logistics networks.

Arun Vinayak's narrative on Exponent Energy's ambition to enable seamless EV adoption through rapid charging solutions encapsulated the entrepreneurial spirit to tackle infrastructural constraints creatively. Arun pointed out, "India, with its unique constraints, provides a fertile ground for innovation, demanding solutions that are not just transplants from Western markets but are inherently designed for local needs."

This chat not only celebrated the achievements of these entrepreneurs but also spotlighted the nuanced ecosystem within which Indian startups operate, navigating scepticism and leveraging India's diverse landscape as a strength. Their shared experiences offer a beacon for aspiring innovators, illustrating that with the right mix of tenacity and vision, Indian deep tech ventures can indeed shape the future, both locally and globally.

Fireside Chat | K.V. Kamath and T.V. Mohandas Pai

In a fireside chat, Mohandas Pai engaged K.V. Kamath in a captivating conversation that paid tribute to Mr. Kamath's illustrious career. Their insightful exchange delved into the remarkable evolution of India's banking sector, highlighting its pivotal role in propelling the nation towards its ambitious $10 trillion economic goal. The discussion offered valuable perspectives and sparked excitement about the future of Indian finance.

Mr. Kamath's narrative journey from his early days in Mangalore, his academic pursuits at NIT Surathkal and IIM Ahmedabad, to his transformative leadership at ICICI and beyond, reveals a lifetime of visionary leadership and a deep belief in the power of technology and innovation in finance.

Reflecting on the early adoption of technology at ICICI, Mr. Kamath emphasised, "Technology is their strong suit now, and they know how to harness it, how to master it, whereas the incumbents, the legacies, are slaves to technology." This mindset shift underscored his successful strategy in transforming ICICI into a technology-driven financial powerhouse, marking a departure from traditional banking practices.

His tenure as the first president of the BRICS New Development Bank and his insights into the economic developments in China compared to India provide a fascinating look at the dynamics of emerging markets. Mr. Kamath noted the importance of infrastructure in driving growth, stating, "The next wave of push for this economy is going to be infrastructure."

As chairman of NABFIT and Jio Financial Services, Mr. Kamath is at the forefront of financing India's infrastructure development and embracing digital transformation. His bullish outlook on India's growth, advocating for a 10% GDP growth rate, is rooted in a robust banking sector, corporate efficiency, and the digital economy's burgeoning contribution to the GDP.

Mr. Kamath's narrative, rich with anecdotes and lessons from a storied career, underscores the power of innovation, the critical role of technology in financial services, and the bright future for India's economy and startup ecosystem. His visionary leadership and strategic foresight offer a blueprint for navigating the complexities of global finance and harnessing technology for economic development.


Through the course of the day, our portfolio companies took the stage to share presentations on their operations, growth journeys, and their future expansion strategies, offering insights into their businesses and the value they provide to customers. CentreStage at the 3one4 Summit is a dedicated platform for 3one4 startups that are delivering transformative impact across the ecosystem.

Jayant Paleti of Darwinbox unveiled their journey towards becoming a disruptor in the HRMS space. Since its inception in 2015, Darwinbox has grown to serve 850 enterprises, overseeing the management of 3 million employees spread across 120 countries. Their focus on AI integration and enterprise clientele has propelled them to the forefront, challenging giants like Oracle and SAP in India. Jayant highlighted, "The category that we operate in is a fairly large one, fairly well-established globally...we made a dent. In India, we are number two in terms of HR cloud market share." Darwinbox's ambitious growth, powered by $120 million in funding and strategic partnerships, positions it for global dominance in HR technology.

Abhishek Nehru, Co-founder and CEO of Ripplr, provided a comprehensive overview of how their platform is revolutionizing the FMCG distribution network in India. Tackling inefficiencies in the traditional distribution system, Ripplr serves over 90,000 active retailers through a technology-driven, seamless platform. Nehru highlighted the critical challenges faced by brands and retailers alike, including fragmented distribution, lack of technology adoption, and poor fill rates. Ripplr's unique value proposition lies in its robust operations, data-driven insights, and predictive analysis at the micro-market level, optimising inventory management and enhancing retailer efficiency. "We are the largest FMCG authorised distribution in South India," Abhishek stated, underlining Ripplr's ambition to scale across new geographies and partner with international brands.

Arun Vinayak from Exponent Energy captivated the audience with a bold vision for the future of electric mobility, underpinned by the company's pioneering 15-minute rapid EV charging technology. Exponent's full-stack energy solution addresses the core limitations of current EV batteries and charging infrastructures, offering a scalable, affordable, and efficient alternative. By focusing on commercial vehicles, which constitute a significant portion of on-road energy consumption, Exponent Energy is not only pushing the envelope in battery and charging technology but also spearheading a more sustainable and accessible electric future.

Jitendra Gupta of Jupiter highlighted the genesis of Jupiter as a response to the apparent disconnect between banks and customer needs. Drawing from his rich experience, including a foundational stint at ICICI Bank and his venture CitrusPay, Jitendra emphasised the importance of trust in banking relationships. Within two years, Jupiter has attracted over 2.2 million consumers, conducted 25 million monthly transactions, and disbursed $11 million in personal loans monthly.

Vishal Chopra, Founder of WeRize, shared his mission to democratise financial services for "small city India" through a unique model leveraging a vast network of financially literate freelancers. WeRize focuses on the emerging middle class in 5,000 small towns, offering customised lending, banking, and insurance products. With a footprint of over 15,000 households, without branches or digital marketing, WeRize exemplifies a successful blend of technology and human touch, making financial products accessible to a traditionally underserved segment.

Pravin Jadhav presented Dhan, a platform aiming to redefine stock trading and investing for Indian consumers. Despite the crowded and competitive market, Dhan has managed to carve out a niche by focusing on speed, customer experience, and unique features tailored to traders' needs. Unlike traditional startups that scale first and seek profitability later, Dhan achieved profitability within 14 months of operation. Highlighting a remarkable growth trajectory, Dhan's approach to profitability before scaling, coupled with technological prowess, positions it as a formidable player in India's capital market space.

Building Together: A Vote of Thanks from 3one4 Capital

Closing Remarks by Siddarth Pai

In a heartfelt vote of thanks, Siddarth Pai extended our deepest appreciation to all who have been instrumental in our journey at 3one4 Capital. From the visionary portfolio companies and founders who embody the highest standards of innovation to the unwavering support of our LPs, each distinguished member has left an indelible mark on our success. We also acknowledge the tireless efforts of our dedicated team, advisors, and extended network members, whose commitment and execution have been indispensable to our achievements.

As we celebrate our 8th anniversary, we reflect on our remarkable journey from overcoming initial scepticism to emerging as one of India's fastest-growing VCs. With gratitude for the past and a vision for the future, 3one4 Capital remains steadfast in its commitment to redefine the boundaries of venture capital and drive transformative change in India's startup ecosystem. The Summit 2024 stands as a testament to this commitment, offering intentional access and support to the founders we partner with, empowering them to become the leading institutions of tomorrow. Together, we embrace the unique opportunities that lie ahead, confident in our collective ability to influence and shape India's growth trajectory and economic leadership.

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