ImpactAlpha, January 26 – Ecozen, in Pune, India, launched a decade ago to provide affordable, clean energy-fueled products for India’s smallholder farmers. The company makes solar-powered irrigation pumps and refrigerators that support more than 100,000 farmers’ livelihoods and help them weather climate-related impacts.
Ecozen says its products also curb food waste and help offset the four billion liters of diesel fuel and 85 million tons of coal used for irrigation in India.
The company raised $25 million in a mixed debt and equity round. The round was backed by Nuveen, Dare Ventures, the Export-Import Bank of India, Hivos-Triodos Fonds, Northern Arc and others. The financing provides a partial exit to early investors Omnivore and IFA.
Agri-focused impact investor Omnivore was one of Ecozen’s earliest investors, backing the company from its first fund in 2015 and helping Ecozen navigate product development and market-fit challenges that often dog hardware ventures.
“It hasn’t been a straight line, but they’ve doubled and tripled down on product development in multiple climate-related areas,” Omnivore’s Mark Kahn told ImpactAlpha.
Other hardware ventures have pivoted into software and services. Ecozen has grown into a “meaningful, very profitable” climate-hardware company, Kahn says. “At their heart and soul, they’re a manufacturing company and they’re incredibly well-positioned for the future.”