June 2022: Climate-smart deeptech startup Ecozen announced today that it has raised INR 54 crore of additional funding as the first tranche of a planned INR 200 crore Series C round. The new funding round was led by Dare Ventures, the venture capital arm of Coromandel International, with participation from existing investors Caspian and Hivos-Triodos Fonds (managed by Triodos Investment Management) through equity. Northern Arc, UC Inclusive Credit, Maanaveeya, and Samunnati also participated with debt funding. Early investors in Ecozen include IFA and Omnivore.
Ecozen develops climate-smart deeptech solutions and core technology stacks to deliver a sustainable future, including motor controls, IoT, and energy storage. Applying these technology stacks to the agricultural sector, Ecozen has revolutionized cold chains (Ecofrost) and the irrigation industry (Ecotron), substantially improving the income of 100,000+ farmers and enabling the generation of over 1Bn units of clean energy(kWh). Headquartered in Pune, Ecozen was founded on-campus by three IIT Kharagpur alumni, Devendra Gupta, Prateek Singhal & Vivek Pandey.
Ecofrost is the world’s leading solar-powered decentralized cold storage solution, which employs innovative thermal energy storage tech, and has over 450 units deployed. Meanwhile, Ecotron is India’s leading solar pumping solution adopted by over 70,000 farmers which leverages embedded IoT, predictive analytics and advanced motor controls to help improve irrigation efficiency and agricultural profitability.
Backed by strong demand for its cold chain and irrigation products, Ecozen crossed INR 100 crore in revenue in FY2021-22 and was EBITDA positive. Ecozen has also executed successful pilots abroad and has been able to build strong demand in African and Southeast Asian countries. It is on track to more than double its sales in FY2022-23 and become highly profitable. Growth will come from scaling up existing businesses as well as expanding beyond the Indian market.
Ecozen sees a significant opportunity in applying its technology stacks and introducing climate-smart solutions for sectors beyond agriculture, notably electric vehicles. The company expects the market size for its innovative technology stacks in India will grow to USD 25 billion by 2025. In the coming years, Ecozen will launch multiple products which build on its deeptech expertise in thermal energy storage, motor controls, IoT, and analytics.
Commenting on this latest fundraise, Devendra Gupta, CEO and Co-Founder of Ecozen, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Dare Ventures and other new and existing investors, as we accelerate our growth and bring climate-smart deeptech solutions to new sectors of the economy. The new funding will be used for expanding our product range, manufacturing capacity, and boosting exports. Expanding beyond India and beyond agriculture will enable us to expand our market potential multifold and grow exponentially while ensuring sustainability.”
Commenting on their investment, Sameer Goel, Director, Dare Ventures Ltd., and Managing Director, Coromandel International Limited, said: “This investment marks the entry of Dare Ventures and Coromandel into the agritech investment space. We are focused on businesses with positive and long term on the ground impact and Ecozen through its innovative deep tech products is well aligned with our vision. With a keen focus on sustainability, we believe their core technology stack will significantly impact sectors beyond agriculture as well. Going forward, we aspire to build a strong portfolio of such highly transformational startups working at different levels of the agricultural value chain and thus creating a remarkable impact on the farmers’ livelihoods.”
Commenting on their investment, B V Narasimham, Investment Director, Caspian Impact Investment Adviser Private Limited, said,” Caspian and Hivos-Triodos have been partners to Ecozen for over seven years through our equity and debt initiatives. We are very happy to be part of the journey thus far where the Company is successfully implementing technology initiatives to solve the problems of farmers in India as well as in other countries through innovative approaches which are environmentally friendly. We are pleased to partner with Dare Ventures and other fellow investors of Ecozen in this exciting phase of the Company’s growth.”