ClimateTech idea to funding in two months: The journey of Sangti

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

Author

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.

If you are a founder or aspiring founder looking to find the right co-founder and kickstart your entrepreneurial journey, check out the Antler India Residency. Globally, with over 60% of founders finding their co-founders, Antler enables exceptional people to create exceptional companies. Applications for the next cohort of The Antler India Residency are open now. Head here to apply.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest news and views from Antler’s global community

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Must-read articles from Antler

Browse our collection of founder stories, industry insights and latest startup successes from Antler Australia

See articles
Insights
5 min read
The 2022 Benelux Unicorn Founder Roadmap: How to build unicorns in Benelux

As everyone anticipates the next wave of ultra-successful companies in Benelux, what does it take to get there? What do the successful founders of Benelux unicorns look like? This report is an in-depth look at the Benelux startup ecosystem and its brightest stars. And above all, it is for anyone who is helping build the next 50 unicorns in Benelux.

Insights
5 min read
The Angle: Why the long-term view is the hard but right one

The Angle is a new content series from Antler, featuring perspectives from our team members on the biggest events and trends impacting founders and early-stage investors today. Every article is that person's unique angle on a hot topic—what they see from their vantage point in one of our 25 offices around the globe—not Antler's stance. In our first edition, Jeff Becker draws lessons from the demise of FTX and turbulent tech moments in recent years. This article first appeared in Jeff's Monday Morning Meeting on Substack.

Founder Stories
5 min read
Jamie Bubb: The tech marketing venture developer connecting brands and content creators

Our new content series—"It All Starts with People"—delves into the passions, motivations, and vision of the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering wtih around the world. In our second spotlight, we sat down with Jamie Bubb, co-founder of Twirl, a remote content studio powered by top-quality creators that helps brands scale their content engines rapidly and cost-effectively.

Insights
5 min read
Venture investing in the downturn

We are living two simultaneous realities: the uncertainty of the current downturn and the unstoppable wave of innovation disrupting every industry. Against this backdrop, Antler's Kevin Brennan shares perspectives on assessing your position in venture capital for the rest of 2022 and into 2023. Might 2023 be the best vintage for the coming decade?

Founder Stories
5 min read
Emilia Theye: The psychologist using AI to democratize access to mental health solutions

Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. To honor them, we are launching a new content series—”It All Starts with People”—spotlighting the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering with around the world. Each story is a window into their passions, motivations, and vision—the reasons they are building and the positive dent they are aiming to make on the world.

In our first spotlight, we sat down with Emilia Theye, the co-founder of clare&me—a mental health app that uses language-based AI to develop an innovative approach to virtual self-help.

News
5 min read
Backing founders from day zero to greatness

Today we are sharing our new brand that reflects that commitment and the reason Antler exists: to stand behind our founders from day zero and to keep backing them on their paths to greatness.

Founder Stories
5 min read
Seven ways founders can prioritize mental well-being as they build

Founders are the life force of the startup ecosystem. They give their all, betting on their seemingly “crazy” convictions and executing on abstract ideas that can potentially make our lives and work easier, faster, healthier, and better optimized.

But sometimes they do this to the detriment of their health. Being a founder means being beholden to customers, employees, and investors while balancing personal life. Often founders trade their stable, well-paying jobs to prioritize the restless inquisitivity of their mind. In the quest to answer the question “what if?”, they sometimes sacrifice their mental and physical health, only realizing the effects on their state of mind once they have impacted their ability to function as a leader. We have also seen how the mental pressure on founders can cause distress to those who depend on them for their livelihood and direction.

Insights
5 min read
A fresh take on early-stage VC: Harvard Business School publishes a case study on Antler

Harvard Business School (HBS) recently published a case study about Antler’s fresh approach to early-stage venture capital. Antler Co-Founder Fridtjof Berge shares thoughts on how the case sparks discussion about the best ways to identify and support great people anywhere on earth.