How Sangti evolved from a ClimateTech idea to a VC-backed startup

A fitting pairing of Hitesh Bhuraria and Nishant Singh, one that was formed at the first-ever cohort of Antler India Residency, is set to build the future of how companies approach their decarbonization goals.


Antler India

Building blocks of Sangti’s Journey

The roots of Sangti can be traced back to Hitesh’s climate consulting experience. A consultant at Bain and Company for 5 years, he led multiple climate change and sustainability projects. This experience helped him understand how critical it has become for companies to address their carbon emission challenges. He spent months understanding the market landscape, mapping the existing solutions and uncovering the whitespaces. He learnt that the existing players took a service/consulting-first approach to helping companies manage their climate programs, thereby realizing the massive opportunity in leveraging technology to uncover deeper insights into how companies can be decarbonized.

Nishant, on the other hand, had been in a state of entrepreneurship limbo, actively evaluating different ideas and people he could work with. He could not find an idea he was passionate about or the right partner for his founder journey. With Climate as one of his passion areas, Nishant quit Google and joined the Residency.

Highly selective and deliberate cohort construction: A key lever for finding a co-founder in weeks

Before joining the Residency platform, as Hitesh proceeded to look for a complementary tech co-founder, he spoke to over a hundred engineers in the pursuit of finding an ideal partner to build this tech-first platform. “There are so many hurdles involved in someone joining an early-stage startup that it is really rare to find someone with the right profile,” he added. While Hitesh found a few potential matches with the right technical skill sets from the many he reached out to, conversations stalled because they lacked the founder mindset or were not willing to take the plunge into starting up.

At the Residency, Hitesh and Nishant approached the process in a deliberate fashion, connecting and working with the founders who shared a mutual passion for Climate. The tenets that formed the core of their evaluation mechanism:

  • Commitment towards a problem statement - Nishant looked to evaluate if the co-founder he was considering was the best in the industry with respect to their core skill set.
  • Working closely over a few weeks to understand each other on things beyond professional.  
  • The ability to disagree respectfully and commit as a foundational parameter to assess the strength of the co-founder relationship.

Frontloading hard conversations and simulating conflicts: Targeted interventions to deepen co-founder relationship

The Residency takes an accelerated approach to helping founders find a co-founder, a process that would have otherwise taken several months. For both Hitesh and Nishant, the outdoor retreat, a part of the program, allowed for strong connections and collaborations through an array of activities - some especially designed to create high-stress environments. The founders are also encouraged to spend time outside of the cohort on personal activities to deepen their relationships. To dive deeper into the non-obvious facets of a co-founder relationship, targeted interventions such as the retreat and a carefully designed questionnaire simulate conflicts and front-load hard discussions, which otherwise would have surfaced ad-hoc over months or years of them working together.

To strengthen their co-founder relationship, Hitesh and Nishant took our detailed questionnaire comprising over 50 questions about how they envisioned building Sangti - discussing each in detail with our Program Director, Nandini Vishwanath, whose role was to actively play devil’s advocate and steer the discussions to uncover relationship nuances. These questions (such as What if your co-founder stops enjoying building Sangti with you? What if you have to fire your co-founder? What if your co-founder doesn't want to make this a billion-dollar outcome?) helped understand if they are in sync about the foundations of the company.

Day Zero and Beyond: Maximizing building time together

While considering each other as co-founders, Nishant and Hitesh worked on a small project related to Sangti's roadmap to establish a strong working relationship. Nishant also took the time to work with Hitesh to understand the Climate sector, Sangti's opportunities and his capabilities to build for this sector. This helped Hitesh sharpen their roadmap and build trust with Nishant.

Post teaming up, Hitesh and Nishant exhibited a rapid acceleration in their journey - from articulating and executing their GTM to using our framework to better understand the co-founder dynamics. They used the Antler team as a sounding board to narrow down on the logistics sector as the most viable customers to work with.

Sangti, Asia Pacific and ME’s first full-service carbon management platform

As companies increasingly face the demand to act on climate change, the need for robust carbon accounting, reporting and reduction solutions is set to increase manifold. With Sangti, Hitesh and Nishant are building a carbon management platform that helps businesses better leverage climate action as a strategic advantage. Using tech to uncover deeper and non-obvious insights into how companies can look at decarbonisation, this SaaS-enabled platform will help clients with carbon measurement, carbon management and climate financing. Already working with three of the largest logistics players in the country, Sangti will help businesses achieve their decarbonisation goals.

We are thrilled to lead their pre-seed funding round and back Hitesh, Nishant and Sangti on Day Zero.

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