SolarArise raising over $33M from Kotak PE’s infra fund, GEEREF

Gurgaon-based SolarArise India Projects Pvt Ltd (SolarArise) is raising over Rs 200 crore ($32.5 million) from Core Infrastructure India Fund Pte Ltd. (CIIF) and Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF) to invest in solar PV projects in India.

CIIF is an Indian infrastructure private equity fund sponsored by Kotak Mahindra while GEEREF, a fund advised by European Investment Bank Group, invests in specialist renewable energy and energy efficiency private equity funds in emerging markets.

This is the first tranche of total proposed fundraising worth around $100 million, SolarArise said. It aims to raise the total in three tranches, which would make it one of the most heavily funded players in the Indian solar power sector.

The firm was founded by Tanya Singhal, Anil Nayar, and James Abraham. All three have been in the solar sector for over five years and have developed and managed some of India's early utility-scale solar power plants. 

Prior to the stint in the solar sector, Nayar was a senior partner with KPMG while Abraham and Tanya were senior partner and senior consultant, respectively, with The Boston Consulting Group.

"At SolarArise, we focus on the long-term ownership and operations of solar plants. We will work with developers, EPC players, and others to build plants across several states in India," said Tanya.

"SolarArise aims to implement a relatively low-risk portfolio of around 250MW, through both acquisitions and new developments and demonstrate the long-term value of solar projects to both investors and the country," she added. 

Suman Saha, head, Kotak Infrastructure Fund, said, "The commitment to SolarArise is consistent with CIIF’s strategy of selectively investing in geographically diversified portfolios in India’s renewable power sector. We look forward to partnering the SolarArise management to build a high quality portfolio.” 

CIIF, an Indian infrastructure private equity fund sponsored by Kotak Mahindra, aims to invest in Indian power, transportation and other infrastructure projects.

In related activity in solar sector, last month International Finance Corporation, the private sector investment arm of the World Bank, said it is lending Rs 201.9 crore ($34 million) to ACME Solar Energy Pvt Ltd, part of the ACME Group, for its Rajasthan project. This is the second and final tranche of the overall envelope for debt funding of $50 million which IFC had previously committed to ACME Solar to be used for various projects. 

IFC is also lending $14.3 million to PE-backed Azure Power India Private Limited’s renewable energy arm Azure Clean Energy Private Limited for the development of a 40 MW solar power plant in Rajasthan. Other key investors in Azure include Helion Venture Partners and Foundation Capital.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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