Startups in India aren’t really coming up in the renewable energy tech space. This could partly be attributed to heavy Government regulation in the sector as well as the lack of investor sentiment due to longer wait for returns on investment.
However, the second aspect of those problems could well be tackled by Infuse Ventures, which is a venture catalyst focussed on startups in this area and raising a massive $150 Million (via Livemint) under a new fund called Bharat. Fund’s targets ? To invest in agriculture, healthcare, clean technology and technology for small businesses.
Housed at IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), Infuse Ventures was founded in 2013 with an initial fund of 125 crores. It has already invested half of that amount in 12 startups and plans to invest remaining capital over the next 6 months.
Under its new Bharat fund, Infuse Ventures will invest about 100 crores to assist 100 startups with seed capital and help them develop prototypes of their product and figure out the market fit. And the main advantage of this seed investment for startups will be that they do not need to give up any equity in return for the investment.
The startups range across sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, renewables and affordable technologies. Out of these 100 startups, about 20 startups will be shortlisted and receive a larger and equity-based venture financing from the rest of the Bharat fund.
We are trying to serve under-served sectors and product management, so you need this ecosystem which the CIIE (Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship at IIMA) brings, which the IIMA network brings, which the public-private partnership model brings,
said Shyam Menon, an investment director at Infuse Ventures.
He was referring to the partnership of Infuse Ventures with government bodies such as the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Technology Development Board, and International Finance Corporation.
Infuse Ventures is planning to raise first 500 crores for Bharat Fund from domestic institutional investors like banks by the end of the year .
So far, Infuse Ventures has invested in sustainable energy startups such as energy management start-up Ecolibrium Energy Pvt. Ltd, Proklean technologies, Glowship, and recycling firm Karma Recycling Pvt. Ltd. Last month, it also participated in the $4 Million Series A round of funding of big data startup Altizon Systems.