Magnetar Venture Pvt Ltd plans to launch a $100 million fund focused on clean technologies by March to funnel growth capital into budding enterprises, a senior official at the venture fund told Reuters.

The fund is registered with regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India and plans to raise $20 million in its first phase, said Reji Kumar Pillai, general partner of Magnetar Venture.

Magnetar hopes to rope in state-run firms working in the field or their units as key investors, Pillai said.

After stepping down as the head of energy and utilities business of IBM's (IBM.N) India unit, Pillai now heads the India government-founded India Smart Grid Forum to promote better technologies for power transmission.

"They (state-run firms) haven't invested (yet), we are in advanced discussions with couple of arms of the government."

The fund will spot investment opportunities in areas like energy efficiency and storage, smart grids, electric vehicles, water management and surface transportation and already has a deal pipeline of 20 firms, he added.

"More than putting money into a solar or a wind farm, we will be happy to fund an entrepreneur who has come out with a solution to increase the efficiency of such solar farms and wind farms and better manage them."

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