Some Of the Best Companies Are Born During And After Downturns: Unitus Ventures' Sanjiv Rangrass Rangrass and his team have remained committed to supporting companies that demonstrate strong unit economics and sustainable growth, with a clear path to profitability

By S Shanthi

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Startups that are anchored on strong business foundations, positive unit economics, and longer and steady cash runway will continue to thrive, says Sanjiv Rangrass, venture partner, Unitus Ventures.

"In my experience, some of the best companies are actually born during and after downturns. As far as India is concerned, early-stage investing is still strong with competitive deals getting funded. In the later-stage deals, founders are now having to show greater unit economics before getting a cheque," he adds.

Rangrass and his team have remained committed to supporting and partnering with companies that demonstrate strong unit economics and sustainable growth, with a clear path to profitability. The firm, he says, has always been conservative in its valuations and has asked its companies to focus on sustainable growth. The firm continues to stay focused on investing in generative AI, climate, jobtech, enterprise tech/SaaS, edtech, and fintech.

His approach to managing cash and making investments is driven by a combination of prudent financial management and strategic decision-making. While he and his team are mindful of the importance of conserving cash, they also recognize the significance of seizing opportunities and supporting promising companies during these times. "In addition to new investments, we prioritize supporting our existing portfolio companies. We work closely with them to navigate through challenges, provide strategic counsel, and help them capitalize on growth opportunities. This includes deploying additional capital if needed, supporting their fundraising efforts, and leveraging our network and resources to drive their success," he said.

The firm's goal is to strike a balance between conserving cash and making strategic investments that have the potential for significant returns and impact. Its funding outlook for the coming year remains opportunistic and dynamic. While it continues to explore opportunities across sectors, there are specific segments that have caught Rangrass' attention due to their potential for growth, relevance, and alignment with his investment thesis.

One such area of interest is the climate sector. "With the pressing need to address climate change, we recognize the importance of startups that develop asset-light technologies to tackle carbon reduction, renewable energy solutions, and sustainable agriculture. By supporting these innovative ventures, we aim to contribute to positive environmental impact and foster a more sustainable future. We recognize that on the climate front, we will have to be patient in the short term but am confident that this sector will boom in the coming years," he says, while adding a few quotes from Kalle Crafton which, he believes, need to form one of the basis for investing in this sector.

"The planet isn't in danger, we are in danger,"

"It shouldn't be 'Do you care about the environment?'. It should be 'Do you care about your environment?'

'The climate isn't an issue. It's the one issue that contains every single other issue.'

In addition, Rangrass sees great promise in the field of generative AI. This cutting-edge technology has the power to revolutionize multiple industries. "We are particularly excited about startups that leverage generative AI to solve complex problems, enhance operational efficiency, and create skilled, meaningful job opportunities," he says.


  • No. of startups invested in: 40
  • No. of exits: 5
  • Focus sectors: Generative AI, Climate, Jobtech, Enterprise tech/SaaS, Edtech, and Fintech
  • Fund Size:
    • Unitus Ventures Fund I (vintage 2013, AUM INR 171 crore)
    • Unitus Ventures Fund II (vintage 2018, AUM INR 237 crore)
    • Opportunity Fund (First Close INR 75+ Crore)
  • Average ticket size: INR 4-16 crore
S Shanthi

Senior Assistant Editor

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. 


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