Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Sherpalo Ventures and a US company have invested $8 million in renewable energy company Kotak Urja Pvt Ltd. A top official at the firm confirmed this development to VC Circle. Kotak Urja is now working on projects that could produce up to 5 megawatts of power. It is also involved in manufacturing of various solar appliances as solar water heaters, water pasteurizers, solar drying systems etc.
The company is now focusing on big power projects and plans to use the funds raised for purchase of land and further expansion. Applied Materials, a US-based company, has also invested in Kotak Urja. Applied Materials is a capital equipment producer serving the semiconductor and solar manufacturing industries. They can provide a lot of technical assistance to Kotak Urja in its expansion plans.
The company was formed in 1997 and its chairman is Kamal S Kotak. The firm's CEO is K. Srinivas Kumar. Though not independently confirmed, the firm says in a that its related to Kotak Mahindra Group. Kotak Urja's product range is classified into two segments - solar photovoltaic and solar thermals. It also has exclusive strategic alliances with companies in US, Germany, Netherlands and Canada.
KPCB has invested in the likes of Google, Yahoo, Amazon and others. For KPCB, which is betting big on cleantech sector, this will be the first investment in this space in India. The Silicon Valley VC has a $500 million Green Growth Fund, for which it has partnered with Al Gore. The firm also plans to make cleantech investments from its own flagship funds. KPCB believes that India's electricity deficiency creates a good opportunity for investments in clean energy space.
KPCB, which partners with Ram Shriram's Sherpalo Ventures for India investments, has so far invested in consumer internet firms in India. Some of its investments in India are travel portal Cleartrip, online classifieds firm Infoedge, and mapping portal MapMyIndia.