top of page

Synapses, a Pioneering Fund Focused on Establishing India as the Leading STEM Innovation Hub for Global Climate Action.



IIT alumni and veteran investors, Ruchira Shukla and Karthik Chandrasekar, come together to champion STEM innovations in ClimateTech and HealthTech - promising outsized returns and transformational impact.

New Delhi, April 9, 2024: Synapses, a pioneering venture capital fund dedicated solely to identifying and supporting STEM-based solutions for climate change and health, announced its official launch today at IIT Delhi’s Research & Innovation Park. Founded by IIT alumni and veteran investors, Ruchira Shukla and Karthik Chandrasekar, Synapses, a US$ 125 million venture fund, fills a critical gap between STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ingenuity and commercialisation by backing STEM start-ups to tackle pressing climate and health challenges.

Unlike most deeptech funds in India that have a broad cross-sectoral scope, Synapses has a dedicated focus on ClimateTech and HealthTech. This allows for deep domain depth and thesis-driven investing. The companies Synapses supports go beyond digitization-based business models, building STEM solutions that have a strong value proposition in global markets beyond India. This also creates the opportunity for global collaboration and technology transfers. This unique approach aligns with the Government of India's goal of making India a global research and development (R&D) hub and driving its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.

India’s NDCs include reducing the emissions intensity of its economy by 45% (compared to 2005) and reducing the total projected carbon emissions by 1 GtCO2e by 2030.  But with only a sixth of the per capita emissions of the US, India needs to balance its development goals with its sustainability goals. And getting there will require STEM innovations to enable large scale decarbonization and resource productivity solutions for carbon emission mitigation as well as climate smart agriculture and agile health response systems for climate adaptation. According to the Climate Policy Initiative, India needs over US$ 170 billion every year in climate finance to meet its NDCs.

India is uniquely positioned to build solutions for the world. India’s premier technology institutions, strong pool of technical talent, unparalleled economic growth, robust private sector friendly policies, exemplary digital public infrastructure, and experience with innovations in a resource-constrained setting, present the perfect building blocks for global leadership in technology innovations.

Ruchira Shukla, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Synapses said, “Climate change and an increasing disease burden are the defining challenges of our generation. Synapses is built on the belief that science and technology hold the key to solving these challenges at scale, not just for India, but for the world. We are nurturing a new generation of audacious, path-breaking innovators and helping them build leading global technology businesses to deliver outsized financial returns.”

The word Synapses refers to the connective tissue in our brains. The namesake fund seeks to become the connective tissue building collaborative connections between a varied set of global stakeholders working in climate and health. In doing so, the fund aims to draw on the limitless power of our collective human ingenuity, industry, and collaboration to solve the greatest challenge faced by our world today, Climate Change.

Synapses has a team of passionate individuals who actively engage with portfolio companies, providing them with the guidance and resources needed to accelerate their global growth and impact. By harnessing the power of deep technology and collaboration, they aim to build global market leaders and deliver 5-7x returns at the fund level.

Karthik Chandrasekar, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Synapses said, "The ClimateTech and HealthTech solutions needed today sit at the intersection of STEM-innovation and agile as well as resilient, future-ready, infrastructure-like solutions that need to be deployed at utility scale. Commercialising innovations at this intersection is hard and requires deep sector immersion. We are taking on this challenge because solving for this complexity is what drives alpha and impact.”

Synapses boasts a leadership team with a combined force of experience. Ruchira Shukla, brings over 25 years of investing experience across the US, Europe, and Asia. During her 12-year tenure at the IFC, she led the disruptive technologies business in South Asia, spearheading successful investments in early-stage technology businesses. Most of her investments grew to be unicorns, and more importantly, became undisputed market leaders. Karthik Chandrasekar possesses deep knowledge of climate technologies and a nuanced understanding of cleantech investments. He co-founded an early-stage climate fund that delivered top quartile returns, established India's first cleantech incubator in partnership with NITI Aayog and has spent the last 15 years nurturing early stage ClimateTech startups.

Ruchira serves on the investment committee for IIT Delhi’s innovation fund and Karthik serves on the investment committee of the SELCO Energy Access Fund. As chemical engineers from IIT Delhi and IIT Mumbai respectively, Ruchira and Karthik, hope to bring first principles thinking to the startups they support. With their vision and energy, Synapses holds the promise to become a multi-generational venture investment platform with the potential for global market leadership.

The fund aligns itself with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and helps its portfolio implement IFC’s E&S and governance best practices as well as sound organisational design principles of diversity, inclusion, and fiscal discipline.


About Synapses

Synapses is a pioneering venture capital fund dedicated solely to identifying and supporting STEM solutions for climate change and health.  Founded by IIT alumni and veteran venture capitalists, Ruchira Shukla and Karthik Chandrasekar Synapses aims to bridge the gap between scientific ingenuity and commercialisation by backing early-stage startups leveraging STEM and IP to tackle pressing climate and health challenges and delivering outsized returns. In addition to the venture fund, the Synapses platform also runs an incubator in partnership with Niti Aayog and a multi-year seed investment program. For more information please visit,


Media Contacts:

Shikhita -, +91 8826191751

Apurva –, + 91 8527766083


bottom of page