Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath, 35, has become the youngest Indian to join ‘The Giving Pledge’ foundation. The Giving Pledge is founded by ace investor Warren Buffet, Melinda French Gates and Bill Gates and has 241 pledgers from 29 countries. It is a commitment made by wealthy businessmen, individuals and families to give the majority of their wealth to charitable causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills. Kamath's wealth is estimated to be around ₹28,000 crore.
Kamath has committed to donating 50% of his wealth to climate change, energy, education, and health. "As a young philanthropist, I am writing to express my gratitude whilst joining the Giving Pledge. Despite my age, I am committed to positively impacting the world and believe that the foundation's mission of creating a more equitable society aligns with my values and aspirations," Kamath said.
"I am particularly interested in contributing to areas such as climate change, energy, education, and health. In addition to these areas, I am involved with various organizations and foundations such as Rainmatter, Giving Pi, Bridgespan, British Asian Trust, YUVA, and many others. I am proud of the work that these organizations do and the impact they have made. As a young philanthropist, I expect to have more questions than answers. The Giving Pledge offers a great platform to learn, exchange ideas, and work collaboratively to address some of the world's most pressing challenges," he added.
Last year, Kamath topped the IIFL Wealth Hurun India 40 & Under Self-Made Rich List 2022. Kamath began working at the age of 17. In 2010, he founded the brokerage firm Zerodha along with his brother Nithin Kamath. In FY23, Zerodha’s profit stood at ₹2,094 crore. He is also the co-founder of the alternative asset management company True Beacon. Kamath, who hosts the podcast WTF on youtube, is known for giving investment advice to startup founders and young Indians.
In a conversation with Fortune India last month, however, Kamath said that a lot of startup founders continue to live in a bubble, oblivious to reality. All hell is going to break loose in the private market is the feeling that Kamath is increasingly harbouring. “A lot of founders, especially unicorns, don’t have their feet on the ground. They continue to live in a bubble, oblivious of reality,” said Kamath.
His observation of start-up founders being oblivious to reality comes from his interactions as part of Gruhas, a venture capital fund that began with a focus on real estate investments and prop tech. Without divulging financial details, Kamath told Fortune India that the fund has made 19 investments to date. "We are not exactly angel investing, it’s closer to a Series-A kind of deal," said Kamath. The fund is now looking beyond real estate to other consumer-facing businesses.
The fund is now looking beyond real estate in other consumer-facing businesses. Even though he is sizing up alternative investment opportunities, for now, Kamath has turned conservative about the investing climate in general. From an ideal asset allocation wherein equity would account for 55%, Kamath has drastically reduced exposure to 36%. "I had done down to 33% till recently as I feel there is more downside to the market," said Kamath.