In a first of its kind deal, Matrix Partners India has put in Rs 60 crore as a sole investor in Pune-based Chetas Control Systems Pvt Ltd, a leading provider of turnkey water metering solutions to municipal corporations and water utilities in India. This is the first institutional round of funding for Chetas, which has completed 400,000 installations of domestic and bulk water meters in India, a statement said, claiming that it's the only company to have done such a volume. The company was founded in 1989.
This seems to be the first instance of a PE investment in the water metering space. According to VCCEdge, there have been 15 deals in the water space since 2004 and these companies provide services ranging from water treatment and purification to water management and installation of treatment plants. Some of them include UEM India funded by India Value Fund and VA Tech Wabag Ltd of ICICI Venture. None of the companies funded so far is in the water metering space.
“This capital infusion provides Chetas the growth capital to bid for larger projects and strengthen its leading position in turnkey water metering," said Mahesh Deshmukh, Managing Director, Chetas Control Systems, "We would now like to extend this capability to achieve our vision of becoming a leading water utility operator in the country."
"Specialised infrastructure services are an important focus area for Matrix as they are an important growth driver for the economy. Given the universal and social importance of water as a resource and the significant investment expected in upgrading the water infrastructure in the country, we believe Chetas can capture a large share of the growing water metering market and become a leading solutions provider to water utilities,” said Avnish Bajaj, Co–founder & Managing Director, Matrix India.
Chetas is a flow instrumentation company and it has successfully done flow measurement of oil, water, chemicals, petroleum products, acids and other liquids with a variety of applications including penstock, utilities, oil fields, petrochemicals, thermal, nuclear power plants, distribution networks, sewage, and so on.
The company also specialises in "ultrasonic transit time flow metering technology" which helps municipal bodies turn their water distribution network into a viable commercial model. The company has installed and commissioned more than 1,000 ultrasonic flowmeters in India and has handled more than 200 water auditing cases, according to the release. It is the lead service partner of world’s largest Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) project of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. It has also executed turnkey metering contracts at multiple water utilities such as Navi Mumbai, Kalyan, Bangalore, Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Matrix Partners India is a leading growth capital firm with about Rs 1,500 crore under management. The firm invests in companies targeting the Indian domestic market with a sector independent investment strategy. The firm invests up to Rs 125 crore in a company depending on its stage of development and has invested in several companies including Muthoot Finance (Gold Loan NBFC), BSFL/BASIX (Microfinance Institution), FIITJEE (engineering test Preparation Company), Itzcash Card (prepaid card), Center for Sight (eye care chain), Siesta Hospitality (corporate serviced apartments) and Tree House (preschool and K-12 schools).