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Samridhi Fund, a Rs 450-crore fund owned by the private investment arm of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), has agreed to make a Rs 20-crore investment in Mumbai-based solar installation startup Oriano Solar.
The Series A investment comprises a mix of debt and debenture and, according to Oriano Solar chief executive Sachin Jain, SIDBI Ventures is keen to invest another Rs 9.75 crore ($1.5 million ) depending on the growth of the company.
Oriano Solar, incorporated in June 2015, specialises in turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contracts for utility-scale solar power plants, solar farms and rooftop projects. The startup, chasing a revenue target of Rs 200 crore in FY18, will use the funds to finance working capital requirements and expand its 45-member team by adding at least 25 people in business development and technology. The company is set to cross Rs 50 crore in revenue in this fiscal year, up from around Rs 5 crore last year.
"Meeting working capital requirements is the biggest challenge for startups in this space, especially since margins are thin and clients mostly do not make upfront payments," Jain said.
The projects the company undertakes typically range from 1 megawatt to 10-20 MW. These require 440 acres of land and cost Rs 4 crore to Rs 40 crore, he said. Oriano Solar was founded by Jain, Yeshwant Rao and Sameer V Shah. The company, which competes with Sterling & Wilson, Tata Power and Azure Power, lists Amway, Honda, Cipla, SunEdison and Hindustan Petroleum Corp among its clients.
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