Mumbai-based rooftop solar platform Oorjan Cleantech Pvt Ltd has raised $450,000 (Rs 2.9 crore) in seed funding led by online venture capital firm Globevestor, a media statement said.
A group of senior directors from banks and financial services companies, including Sayandev Chakravartti, Aditya Sharma, Nisha Pillai and Mayur Bhat, also participated in the round.
“There is no doubt that solar is the way of the future. India is witnessing a joining of forces and commitment from government, industry, manufacturers and entrepreneurs, which has brought momentum to the sector and makes now a great time to invest in it," said Ankur Shrivastava, partner and co-founder at Globevestor.
Oorjan was founded in November 2014 by IIT Bombay alumni Roli Gupta and Gautam Das. Prior to starting up, Gupta worked as business development manager at US-based solar products manufacturer AREVA Solar, while Das earlier worked at Citibank.
The company said it will use the funds to scale operations, augment sales efforts, and further build its technology advantage.
“The current fundraise will enable us to invest in making the customer experience seamless. We're building a core technology moat across lead generation, pre-sales experience, smart CRM and engagement, as well as in leveraging solar data at scale,” Gupta said in the statement.
The company’s integrated, managed platform brings together all stakeholders of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems, including suppliers, installers and financiers. It also offers consumers a single space to interface with the stakeholders. Oorjan oversees the design, installation, financing, approvals, ongoing monitoring, and maintenance of a solar system for its customers.
It already has operations in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, and Chennai and claims to have completed around 70 projects till date. Oorjan estimates revenues for FY2017-18 at Rs 15 crore.
US-based Globevestor operates a hybrid of micro-funds and an online platform to invest in startups in the US and India. In past three years, Globevestor has made 32 early-stage investments across diverse sectors, of which 21 are based in India. Some of its investments include self-drive car rental startup Zoomcar, ed-tech firm Flintobox, test preparation platform OnlineTyari, financial products marketplace Rubique Finance, and ed-tech startup Springboard to name a few.
The renewable energy space in India has witnessed a lot of activity. In July this year, Warburg Pincus had invested up to $100 million (Rs 645 crore) in Mumbai-based rooftop solar projects developer CleanMax Enviro Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
In March, Oriano Solar, a Mumbai-based startup that specialises in turnkey solar solutions, raised Series A funding worth $3 million (around Rs 20 crore) from the Samridhi Fund, which is managed by SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private-sector investment arm, has emerged as a large investor in the space. Last year, it had invested $125 million in Hero Future Energies. In May this year, IFC said it plans to invest $40 million (Rs 260 crore) in Tata Cleantech Pvt. Ltd. It has also previously provided debt funding to solar energy service provider Azure Power and Actis-backed renewable energy platform Ostro Energy.
Some of the world’s biggest pension funds, including Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, are also scouting for deals in India’s solar power sector.