Warburg Pincus plugs $100m into Indian solar developer

The investment will help CleanMax grow its portfolio to 250MW by 2018 and expand into Middle Eastern and Asian markets.

Warburg Pincus, the US private equity firm, has committed equity financing of up to $100 million to CleanMax Solar, an Indian rooftop solar developer targeting corporate clients. 

The investment was made through an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, which it did not identify. 

The funds will be used to finance the Indian developer’s growth in the rooftop and open-access solar markets in India, as well as support its expansion in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. CleanMax has also earmarked some of the money for its “nascent, yet promising” energy storage solutions business. 

The company is backed by blue-chip corporate clients including Tata Group, Mahindra Group, TVS Group, Carlsberg India, Konecranes India, Carl Zeiss India, Manipal Education and Medical Group, SKF India, Mindtree and Alkem Laboratories. The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private investment arm, is also supporting projects being developed by CleanMax. 

The energy company was founded in 2011 and has installed in excess of 200 projects for more than 50 corporations, with a combined on-site capacity of more than 100MW. It looks to achieve aggregate capacity of up to 250MW by 2018, according to Kuldeep Jain, founder and managing director of CleanMax. 

“Warburg Pincus’s investment will enable us to pursue additional growth opportunities beyond India, and provide next-generation solutions to our customers through a combination of rooftop solar and energy storage,” said Jain. 

“We believe that CleanMax is well poised to benefit from the strong growth tailwinds in the sector, and look forward to working with the management team to build a world-class enterprise,” said Saurabh Agarwal, a Warburg Pincus managing director. The buyout firm also quoted from the Bridge to India 2017 report that CleanMax has a 24 percent market share in the country’s rooftop solar market. 

Warburg Pincus manages $44 billion in private equity assets and has invested approximately $4 billion in more than 50 Indian companies. The firm has invested or committed more than $10 billion in the energy sector since the late 1980s.