Aruna Subramanian, managing director of Sabic Ventures, is one of the leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

Aruna Subramanian believes her main role as a corporate investor is to actively collaborate with startups to develop or derisk their technologies.

“If I am just giving people money, I am not adding value to the startup. We take it very seriously and at the end of every closing of an investment, we typically have a collaboration in place.”

One of these is a pilot project that it entered into with Spanish blockchain software provider Finboot to track circular products across its value chain.

Subramanian’s venture unit, Sabic Ventures, the CVC of Saudi chemical manufacturer Sabic, made eight new investments in 2023. She expects to make around the same number this year. The unit focuses on circular economy and decarbonisation technologies, such as energy storage, carbon capture and the electrifi cation of the petrochemical process.

Among companies in its portfolio are Rondo, a low-cost, industrial-scale battery technology; Novocycle, a battery recycling process technology; Synova, an advanced plastics recycling technology; and iNex Circular, a digital solution for the circular market space.

In December 2023, ahead of the Cop28 conference in Dubai, Sabic partnered with PepsiCo and AstroLabs to launch Mega Green Accelerator, a programme to incubate new businesses in areas such as the circular economy, clean energy, water tech and agtech.

Netherlands-based Subramanian was an investment principal at Shell Technology Ventures between 2005 and 2012. She was also a senior investment manager at VC firm Brightlands Venture Partners.

She sits on the investment committee of two Dutch government funds: Deep Tech Fonds, which invests in Netherlands-based startups; and Innovation Quarter, a fund that invests in decarbonisation and the circular economy.

“Netherlands is home now. It makes sense to try to give back,” she says of her involvement in the funds.

Powerlist cover

The Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist represents the 100
individuals spearheading the future of the corporate venturing industry.

These individuals excel in terms of their venturing approach and structure, number and quality of portfolio companies and in their contributions to the corporate venturing profession.

See the full 2024 Powerlist here.