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British investor offers $39 mn to Warburg Pincus-backed CleanMax Solar
Photo Credit: Reuters

Solar power company CleanMax Enviro Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd  has raised Rs 275 crore (around $39.4 million at the current exchange rate) in equity funding from renewable energy investor UK Climate Investments LLP.

CleanMax Enviro Energy Solutions, which operates under the brand name CleanMax Solar, said in a statement that the fresh capital will be used to expand its renewable energy portfolio.

The infusion will also facilitate the construction of a network of private solar farms across India and help the firm further develop its existing two product lines of rooftop solar projects and open-access solar projects, CleanMax added.

In addition, Mumbai-based CleanMax Solar will expand its footprint to new geographies such as Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat, said founder and managing director Kuldeep Jain.

CleanMax marks UK Climate Investments’ third investment in India and it has so far committed £90 million to the country, senior vice president and director Amit Rama told VCCircle.

UK Climate Investments is a joint venture between the Green Investment Group and the UK government’s department for business, energy and industrial strategy. The £200 million fund is managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

“CleanMax Solar is helping businesses in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies rethink how they produce and consume electricity,” said Richard Abel, managing director of UK Climate Investments. 

CleanMax

CleanMax counts private equity giant Warburg Pincus and International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, among its investors.

Warburg Pincus had invested $100 million in the renewable energy firm back in 2017. Before that, IFC had invested $15 million in CleanMax.

Earlier this year, VCCircle reported that CleanMax had secured the backing of a listed non-banking financial company (NBFC) focussed on the power sector.

CleanMax provides rooftop solar and open-access solar solutions for the commercial and industrial segment. It claimed to have a market share in India of 17% in rooftop and 9% in open-access solar respectively, as of March 2018. 

CleanMax Solar’s operating capacity has grown from 24 megawatt (MW) in 2015-16 to more than 500 MW in 2018-19, and the company expects to expand its customer base from 120 corporates to 300 corporates by 2022.

CleanMax aims to enhance its portfolio from 500 MW to 2000 MW in the next three years.

 “Corporates are quickly adopting renewables sourcing at scale to achieve the twin benefits of profit improvement and carbon footprint reduction,” Jain said.  

The company’s top clients are in the auto, auto components segment and IT services sector, Jain said.  These include Adobe India, United Breweries, Volvo India, Tata Motors, TVS Group, ACC, SKF, and Mahindra Group.

UK Climate Investments

The fund has been established to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in developing countries, according to its website.

In 2017, a Macquarie-led consortium, comprising Macquarie Group, Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 and Universities Superannuation Scheme, acquired the UK Green Investment Bank Plc. (Green Investment Bank) for £2.3 billion. This brought UK Climate Investments under its umbrella.  

In October 2017, UK Climate Investments teamed up with British solar energy firm Lightsource to jointly fund the development of large solar power projects in India.

Last year, UKCI was part of the consortium that acquired a 54% stake in Finnish clean energy firm Fortum’s solar power company in India.

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