The Asian Development Bank's (ADB) new venture arm, ADB Ventures, has announced its first two investments. ADB Ventures invests in early-stage technology companies globally that address urgent development challenges in emerging Asia and the Pacific.
Euler Motors Pvt. Ltd., based in India, is an electric vehicle manufacturer and fleet operator focused on last-mile commercial logistics, accelerating India's and Southeast Asia's transition to sustainable mobility. Euler Motors has raised $9.4 million in Series A funding with participation by ADB Ventures, Blume, Inventus, and other investors.
Smart Joules Pvt. Ltd., based in India, provides energy efficiency-as-a-service for large hospitals and commercial buildings, delivering savings of up to 40% on energy costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Smart Joules has raised $4.1 million in its Series A financing led by Sangam and ADB Ventures. Max I. Limited and other angel investors also participated in this round.
The investments were made by the ADB Ventures Equity Fund, which is ADB Ventures' first investment fund.
"ADB Ventures will spur high-impact cleantech, agritech, fintech, and healthtech innovations in developing Asia with its ecosystem building. Our vision is to crowd-in $1 billion of commercial investment towards the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030," said ADB Vice-President Ashok Lavasa.
The ADB Ventures Equity Fund received $60 million in funding commitments in 2020 from Finland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Government of the Republic of Korea, Climate Investment Funds' Clean Technology Fund, and the Nordic Development Fund. The Fund focuses on climate and gender impact in South and Southeast Asia.
"The ADB Ventures Equity Fund is the perfect vehicle for Finland to turn our development priorities into action. The Fund will catalyze private sector finance to address climate challenges, while integrating gender aspects. Finland stands together with ADB to meet the region's development challenges," said Finland's Under-Secretary of State for Development Policy Elina Kalkku.
"Korea's venture ecosystem has been accelerating the transition toward an innovative digital and green economy. We look forward to working closely with ADB Ventures to promote leading clean technologies in the Asia-Pacific region and achieve mutual prosperity in the post-COVID-19 era," said Deputy Minister for International Affairs of the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Economy and Finance Taesik Yoon.
"We see ADB Ventures among those unique vehicles capable of mobilizing public risk capital and private sector capital, while taking advantage of ADB's extensive operations and networks for climate innovation," said Climate Investment Funds Head Mafalda Duarte.
"ADB Ventures represents a timely complement to traditional development approaches through the involvement of the private sector in addressing critical climate change challenges. We are pleased to be working with the ADB on this important initiative that has particular relevance in the post-COVID recovery," said Nordic Development Fund Managing Director Karin Isaksson.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.