Neev Fund II (fund managed by SBICap Ventures) a sustainability and SME focused fund announces its first investment of an undisclosed sum as Series B growth capital into Chakr Innovation – an innovative emission control device manufacturing company that mitigates pollution at source and captures harmful particulate matter emissions.
Chakr Innovation was started by two IIT Delhi engineers – Kushagra Srivastava and Bharti Singhla who had a passion to solve the threat of air pollution for major Indian cities. The start-up is also working on multiple promising indigenous technologies like Metal-Air battery technology and is a live testament to Honourable Prime Minister’s vision of Make in India turning into reality. It is also recognised by the Government of India under its Start-up India scheme and NITI Aayog’s Champions of Change programme.
Globally, air pollution causes 4.2 million premature deaths every year (World Health Organisation). Nine out of ten people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants (World Health Organisation). India’s National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) have identified diesel generator sets as the major source of emission of particulate matter. Recently 8 states in India have notified that all operational DG sets of capacity 125 KVA and above have to be retrofitted with emission-control devices or shift to gas-based generators. The notifications stipulate that the retrofit emission control device should have a minimum specified particulate matter capturing efficiency of at least 70 per cent. Chakr’s innovative technology is helping industries reduce the emissions, staying compliant as well as driving a positive environmental change.
The Neev Fund II was announced during the EU-India Leaders Meeting and has already secured backing of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Govt of UK, and the State Bank of India (SBI). It aims to provide growth and expansion capital to SME companies working towards efficient use of raw materials, water, clean energy, sustainable mobility, and circular economy in the country.
The Fund is accelerating India’s green recovery from COVID-19 and strengthening sustainable investment that contribute to air quality and climate action through equity financing. This ushers in a new wave of a ‘climate action’ asset class that is seeing an uptick amongst investors in the post pandemic world.
Manav Bansal, CIO Neev Funds said: “Neev Fund has a leadership status in environmentally and socially conscious investing. With investment in Chakr the fund has unlocked their value of being the vanguard of building a new generation of climate tech SMEs.”
Akshay Panth, Principal Neev Funds said: “Chakr is emerging as a leading mission driven clean-technology company that will transform energy managers’ woes of pollution risk. Chakr is part of a new league of clean tech focused SMEs that are shaping the fight against climate change. Neev is delighted to be part of Chakr’s journey in helping them develop newer markets and products.”
Kushagra Srivastava and Bharti Singhla, founders of Chakr Innovation stated: “Climate action and environmental sustainability are the need of the hour to save India’s cities and clean air action has been our mission since we founded Chakr in 2016. This equity infusion will help accelerate commercialisation of our innovative technologies for climate action and also help us expand our world class customer base. We are elated to have Neev II as a partner of choice in our growth journey, because they endorse and fuel our vision of developing new products that will revolutionize access to clean energy.”