Paytm’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma will invest his personal money in startups working on environment sustainability.
“I would like to start off by investing Rs 10 crore of my personal money in startups that are interested in working on environment’s sustainability,” Sharma told HT.
Not just startups, Sharma also plans to invest in any ongoing government or private initiative working on the protection of the environment.
“We need to take a holistic approach towards curbing pollution. Alarming pollution level is not limited to the National Capital Region. It is a national phenomenon,” Sharma says.
On November 2, moved by alarming pollution levels after Diwali, Sharma, in a series of five tweets talked about his first encounter with smog (a mix of smoke and fog), the emergency to save the nature and his interest to support startups working towards environment sustainability.
In his first tweet, Sharma said: “5 years back, I saw Beijing smog first time, I asked myself: why do people live in such polluted city? Today: same moment and Q for Delhi.”
He went on to say, “Developing economy pay price. In early Industrial age, even in few US cities, people use to change shirts two times in day due to pollution!,” in his next tweet.
His third tweet gave the startup community, especially those working on environment-friendly initiatives, something to cheer about. He tweeted: “I am ready to fund and build network of startups/labs for environment sustainability in India. Today 5 cities’ tomorrow 50 cities’ problem.”
In his fourth one, he urged people to join in by saying, “I call upon fellow countrymen to take environment sustainability as key agenda to contribute. Will build and contribute all possible.”
The fifth tweet read: “We may win our battles of ambitions, but will definitely loose this war with nature. No it is not DELvsBLRvsBOM. Sadly it is us vs nature.”
Sharma’s tweets received a lot of responses from the startup community within hours. GOQii CEO and founder Vishal Gondal was quick to react to Sharma’s tweet. Offering to join hands with Sharma on his mission, Gondal replied: “let’s do this together happy to pitch-in”.
Talking to HT, Sharma said that he is already in talks with investors and fellow entrepreneurs to join hands in recognising and funding initiatives.
“We are yet to structure the application and funding process. However, my investment will not be for return,” Sharma adds.