Tuesday, May 28, 2013

IFC invests in early stage Indian energy efficiency firm, fosters innovation

INDIA: IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $1 million in energy efficiency startup Ecolibrium Energy that provides an innovative  technology platform to industrial and commercial enterprises to monitor and optimize electricity use for operations, and help mitigate the impact of climate change.

This is the first transaction signed under IFC’s Cleantech Innovation Facility jointly funded by IFC and IFC-GEF Earth Fund. The facility will make equity investments totaling up to $60 million in early stage clean technology companies. The investment from IFC will enable Ecolibrium to expand its presence across India.

Ecolibrium plans to become the leading player in the demand response market over the long term. This refers to enabling consumers to respond to incentive programs, such as lesser tariffs for consumption during off-peak hours, offered by utility companies. Ecolibrium is incubated by Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad’s business incubator Center for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE).

“Companies operating in the energy efficiency segment are relatively new to the Indian market and raising funds from conventional sources is expected to be challenging for them,” said Chintan Soni, founder and CEO, Ecolibrium Energy. “This financing from IFC will show the way for other global and domestic investors to follow suit and invest in such technology-enabled scalable businesses.”

Besides IFC, CIIE will also invest $500,000 in Ecolibrium in this round of investment on behalf of early stage cleantech fund Infuse Capital.  IFC is one of the investors in Infuse Capital.

“IFC’s investment in Ecolibrium supports energy efficiency by giving commercial and small and medium enterprises technologically advanced and innovative solutions that help reduce energy usage,” said Anita George, IFC regional director for Infrastructure in Asia.

IFC’s investments globally support energy efficiency by giving industrial customers, especially small and medium enterprises, technologically advanced and innovative solutions to reduce energy usage. IFC's global program regularly invests in projects focused on mitigating climate change in the areas of renewable energy, clean technology, and resource efficiency across emerging markets. Clean energy is a global strategic priority for IFC, which has led several innovative investments in South Asia in recent years.

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