Partner at investment firm ah! Ventures, Amit Kumar told businessline that he is bullish on the growth of Indian start-ups in sectors like infra-tech and sustainability in 2023.

“The way India is progressing, it is very important that start-ups come forward and do something for the infrastructure of the country. While the infrastructure sector is majorly controlled by the government today, it needs to be opened up at least for technology start-ups to contribute. There is immense potential in start-ups contributing to faster road construction, and better town planning in India,” Kumar said.

Besides infra-tech, Kumar believes that sustainability, agritech, healthtech, and fintech will continue to do well this year.

Fintech will grow because of the low penetration of its services in rural and semi-urban areas, and the opportunity it offers.

In the case of healthtech, Kumar said that the pandemic showed us how underprepared India is in terms of healthcare infrastructure and facilities. Hence, he believes the health tech start-ups will also continue to see growth this year.

Performance review

In 2021, ah! Ventures did close to just about 50 deals, which were almost double what it did in 2020. The firm’s deal momentum continued in the first six months of 2022 before the winter funding hit the market.

While the firm aimed to do anywhere between 80 to 100 deals in 2022, it ended the year at around 50-60 deals because of market sentiment.

Surprisingly, if you see the statistics, the first six months of 2022 have not been so bad for early-stage investing. In the first two quarters, there was actually an uptake in early-stage investing as compared to last year. Because at the early stage, the check sizes are comparatively very small,” Kumar added.

ah! Ventures launched a ₹150 crore angel fund in July 2022 and plans to invest in about 40 to 50 companies from this fund. The firm’s average check size in this fund continues to be ₹3-3.5 crore.

ah! Ventures expect to fully deploy this fund in two years.

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