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Native Angels Network leads investment in renewable energy firm Carbon Masters

Native Angels Network, launched by Tamil Nadu-based Nativelead, has led an investment in Carbon Masters, a Bengaluru-based renewable energy startup.

The network was joined by earlier investors Indian Angel Network, clean-tech venture fund Sangam Ventures and other board members.

Nativelead invests in enterprises that focus on sustainability, said co-founder and chairman Nagaraja Prakasam, who is also a partner with social venture capital investor Acumen.

"Our typical investments are in the range of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore. In this Rs 3 crore round, we have invested Rs 1.70 crore, which is our highest investment," Prakasam told VCCircle.

The investment was led by Senthil Sankar of Nativelead Karur Chapter, Karur being a city in Tamil Nadu.

Carbon Masters, co-founded in 2009 by Som Narayan and Kevin Houston, has developed bottled bio-CNG brand Carbonlites.

Carbonlites is made by converting food and agri wastes (otherwise destined for landfill) to renewable energy which can displace LPG for commercial cooking in restaurants and hotels.

The “waste” by-product resulting from the conversion process is transformed into nutrient-rich organic manure which helps farmers reduce their use of chemical fertilisers, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

An initiative to hasten innovation in clean energy, Mission Innovation’s 1.5°C Compatible Solutions Framework developed and led by Sweden has identified Carbonlites as one of the top 100 solutions in the world that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Major revenue streams for Carbon Masters are from the sale of Carbonlites bio-CNG cooking gas, Carbonlites organic manure, plant operations fees and the sale of ancillary products.

“This latest infusion of funds will help us expand our operations and reach new markets,” said Narayan. The company currently has a strong presence in Karnataka and is selling Carbonlites in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The next phase will see Carbon Masters take its energy and organic manure solutions to Tirupati (city in Andhra Pradesh) and Tamil Nadu.

Nativelead's other investments include SP Robotics, Fresh world, VillFresh, Happy Hens, Native special, Farmers Fresh Zone, etc.

Nativelead's founders include Sivarajah Ramanathan, Prakasam, VA Palanikumar, and founder of human resources firm Ma Foi and Tamil Nadu minister for Tamil language, culture and archaeology Pandiarajan K.

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