Climate-smart deep-tech startup Ecozen on Thursday raised Rs 54 crore in additional funding as the first tranche of a planned Rs 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) via equity.
Northern Arc, UC Inclusive Credit, Maanaveeya and Samunnati also participated with debt funding. Early investors in Ecozen include IFA and Omnivore.
Headquartered in Pune, Ecozen was founded on-campus by three IIT Kharagpur alumni — Devendra Gupta, Prateek Singhal and Vivek Pandey. Ecozen develops climate-smart deeptech solutions and core technology stacks including motor controls, IoT, and energy storage. Applying these technology stacks to the agricultural sector, Ecozen has built sustainable cold chains product, Ecofrost and Ecotron for the irrigation industry. These products have reached one lakh farmers and improved their income using clean energy. Ecofrost is a solar-powered decentralised cold storage solution, which employs innovative thermal energy storage tech, and has over 450 units deployed.
Ecotron is a solar pumping solution adopted by over 70,000 farmers which leverage embedded IoT, predictive analytics and advanced motor controls to help improve irrigation efficiency and agricultural profitability.
Devendra Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Ecozen, said they were accelerating growth and taking their climate-smart deep-tech solutions to new sectors and the new funding would be used for expanding their 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,” Gupta said.
Backed by a strong demand for its cold chain and irrigation products, Ecozen crossed revenue of Rs 100 crore in FY22 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. The company said it was on track to more than double its sales in FY23 and become highly profitable.
Ecozen has plans to apply this technology to electric vehicles, where the market size for its innovative technology stacks in India was expected to grow to $25 billion by 2025.
Sameer Goel, director, Dare Ventures, and managing director, Coromandel International, said this investment marked the entry of Dare Ventures and Coromandel into the agritech investment space. Ecozen’s core technology stack would significantly impact sectors beyond agriculture as well, he said.
BV Narasimham, investment director, Caspian Impact Investment Adviser, said Caspian and Hivos-Triodos had been partners to Ecozen for over seven years through equity and debt initiatives, and Ecozen was successful in implementing technology to solve the problems of farmers in India as well as in other countries through innovative approaches, which were environmentally friendly.