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Intel Capital Wants to Create a Tech Ecosystem-to invest in cleantech companies

A slew of venture capital and private equity funds are raising money into clean-tech funds focused on Asia.

We had discussed earlier this year that most of the fund-raising in Renewable Energy and Cleantech in India is happening in mega project developments and developers.

Investors have also shown a lot of interest in this sector and the Indian cleantech sector has witnessed an investment of about $465 million from 2008.

However, deals have been hard to come by and most of the funds are crowding around the same kind of available deals that are far and few between. VenturEast is targeting €200 million ($290 million) for its Life Fund 3, with around 40% already committed, its general partner Chandar Shekhar Kundur has earlier said. The fund invests in clean-tech and life sciences companies in India, and it has already made five investments.

Cleantech Group has earlier said that the biggest opportunities in Cleantech will be in emerging economies like India over the next decade.

According to reports, Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of Intel Corp., started looking at opportunities in India in 1998 and has invested $285 million in 65 companies. The venture capital firm will invest aggressively in technology to promote a new ecosystem, said President Arvind Sodhani and Managing Director Sudheer Kumar Kuppam.

Intel Capital Wants to Create a Tech Ecosystem

Deals India: What’s your strategy in India?

Mr. Sodhani: The Indian venture capital market is quite active. We are [an] active strategic as well as venture investor. Last year, we invested $45 million in India.

The way Intel Capital has evolved the PC ecosystem… we want to continue doing that to the technology market all over the world. The only way you can nurture and promote technology is through strategic investments. Early-stage investment leads to very high risks, you actually have [to have] the stomach for taking that kind of risk.

Deals India: Are you looking at investing in green-technology companies?

Mr. Sodhani: We have one investment in India in the green-technology sector with KLG Systel. They are into transmission and delivery of energy through smart metering and related technology services. Smart meters allow consumers to figure out the electricity usage and thereby, avoid wastage. Very recently they also announced Intel atom-processor-based meter for water. We also are working actively with the government program that is trying to bring technology into energy generation, consumption and transmission.

We will invest in more clean-tech companies but most of it will be related to smart metering and related technologies. We are not interested in any solar investments in India. But if there is a clean technology in which we can make a strategic connection back to Intel, and Intel can expand our market and grow our business, we will definitely be interested

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