Three transformative and innovative technology solutions with the potential to revolutionize sustainable infrastructure development received valuable mentoring from a panel of experts as part of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s Venture Capital (VC) for Start-ups in Green and Technology-Enabled Infrastructure Showcase, held on Oct. 25, 2023. The VC Showcase was one of the side events during the Eighth AIIB Annual Meeting held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The business cases, selected from a large number of promising submissions, are the following:
- ACE Green Recycling is a battery recycling technology platform that provides solutions for furthering circularity in batteries.
- HG Technology is developing energy storage solutions that offer clean and flexible ways to accelerate renewable energy build-out.
- Aereo is an India-based drone solutions provider that facilitates efficient development of large-scale infrastructure projects and have made contributions to technology-enabled infrastructure development, ultimately touching the lives of millions of people.
Representatives of the three firms were flown in to Sharm El Sheikh to present their business proposals in person to a panel of judges where they received valuable feedback, insights and assessment on their potential fit within AIIB’s portfolio. The showcase was spearheaded by AIIB’s Banking Department, Region 1. They will also be featured in AIIB’s InfraTech Portal.
The VC Showcase marks AIIB’s third successfully hosted Venture Capital session. In December 2022, AIIB Board approved the USD130 million Venture Capital Investment Program, which aims to support the development of entrepreneurship, promote innovation, and encourage the adoption of green and technology-enabled infrastructure across AIIB Members by providing scarce capital to early stage companies through small-scale VC funds. Through the Program, AIIB has the dual role of a facilitator and an influencer in accelerating the adoption of innovations in promoting sustainable infrastructure. The Program will follow a strategy of investing in small-scale VC funds with reserved funding for follow-on co-investments. The Program will focus on green and infrastructure-related technologies, as well as new business models catalytic to sustainable infrastructure development, contributing to AIIB's mandate of building Infrastructure for Tomorrow.
A call for proposals was put out in August 2023, upon announcement of the AIIB Annual Meeting, resulting in the submission of business proposals from around the world, all with innovative business solutions that resonate well with the growth of green and technology-enabled infrastructure.
Registration was open to entrepreneurs developing a business focused on early stage (Pre-series A or Series A/B) innovations in green and/or technology-enabled infrastructure and allied sectors in one of AIIB’s Members.
The VC Showcase panel of judges which provided feedback to the top three shortlisted entrepreneurs included renowned industry venture capitalists, innovation champions, and AIIB senior investment professionals:
- Jeffrey Paine, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Golden Gate Ventures, an early-stage technology venture capital fund based in Singapore
- Sateesh Andra, Founding Partner of Endiya, an India-focused venture capital fund
- Khalid Quadir, Managing Partner of InnovationWorks, and a pioneer in Bangladeshi private equity, known for launching the nation's sole private equity fund, The Frontier Fund
- Dong-Ik Lee, Director General, AIIB Banking Department (Region 1)
- Ke Fang, Director General, AIIB Implementation Monitoring Department
- Jea Young (Jay) Huh, Principal Investment Officer, AIIB Banking Department (Region 1), Private Equity
AIIB InfraTech Portal and Selection of Top 10 InfraTech Solutions
The session concluded with a demonstration of AIIB’s upcoming InfraTech Portal, a web portal focused on sharing knowledge on InfraTech and increasing interaction between InfraTech providers, investors, and adopters. In addition to the top three business cases, the Portal will also feature the other candidates who came in the Top 10 of the VC Showcase selection.
These are (in alphabetical order):
- Ambiator offers environmentally friendly cooling solutions using alternative cooling technologies.
- BLUJ Aero is an Indian start-up building long-range zero-emission vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft powered by green hydrogen.
- Ezolar develops solar energy solutions and parks targeted to micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) clusters across India, while gearing up to build and power green hydrogen electrolyzers.
- Global Cerah provides an innovative waste management solution that turns waste into protein that can be used for agriculture, animal feed, and pet food manufacturers.
- Logisly is a digital trucking platform that provides an end-to-end solution from shippers to transporters to drivers to fully digitalize the trucking order and matching process.
- Soul Parking provides innovative parking solutions that include a green parking system and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, compact motorcycle storage, and a digital platform.
- Xurya is a solar fintech platform that aggregates rooftop solar demand and connects the global capital supply with local demand from commercial and industrial customers, intending to be the market maker for the renewable energy sector.
These ten companies were selected from a highly competitive pool of submissions, each with promising and valuable business cases. Inclusion in the InfraTech Portal will give entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their business idea to a global audience. The InfraTech Portal will share information on InfraTech solutions and their benefits, technology components, adoption challenges and mitigations, case studies, and solution providers. The portal will feature valuable solutions, including those that AIIB is already investing in, such as Sunman Energy (see Project Spark), which provides innovative, lightweight, glassless solar modules.
The VC Showcase highlighted some good practical examples of innovative companies around the world that align with green and technology-enabled infrastructure. AIIB will continue to look for, finance and promote valuable InfraTech companies.
Requests for inclusion in the InfraTech portal may be made by emailing email@example.com.