Angel investor and serial entrepreneur Dhianu Das’s Venture Capital fund, Alfa Ventures, has made a strategic investment in Skilancer Solar. The undisclosed amount of funding will help Skilancer Solar, a Noida-based startup that provides an artificial intelligence powered autonomous robot for cleaning solar panels, scale up operations and its market presence.
Started in early 2019, Alfa Ventures works with several other businesses from seed to early stage. Dhianu Das’s successful investment portfolio already includes about 15 other businesses such as Go Mechanic, ClearDekho, Civil Cops, and Cleansecar amongst others.
India has witnessed a sharp rise in interest and awareness about alternative energy usage, especially solar energy. This has led to growth in the number of solar plant installations and a decrease in the cost of solar power. However, the cost of solar electricity is directly proportional to the power generation efficiency of a solar plant. It is required that solar panels be cleaned periodically to optimise the production efficiency. The major loss which occurs in the solar plant is the loss due to dust and debris deposition and this may vary from 7%-26%. Traditional manual cleaning happens at a frequency of 15 days and is thus not the most effective. Skilancer Solar’s autonomous robotic solution addresses this problem by cleaning the panels every day, or on demand, without any substantial human intervention.
Alfa Ventures’ Das said, “For a population of over 1.3 billion, it is essential to look for alternative means of energy. I am absolutely bullish on India’s solar energy story. New installations in 2019 will reach nearly 14 gigawatts, which is about 50% more than the capacity added last year. This is where I see potential for business like Skilancer Solar; this investment will help Alfa Ventures become a part of India’s thriving solar energy market.”
Adding to this, Neeraj Kumar, IIT Jodhpur alumni and co-founder, Skilancer Solar said, “Skilancer Solar is all about providing innovative products with world-class service and customer experience. The new investment will allow Skilancer Solar to invest in design and technology upgrade, geographical expansion, team building, and develop a competitive edge.”
Skilancer Solar makes centrally controlled, self-powered, robotic arms for automatic cleaning of solar panels. It is an IIM Lucknow incubated start-up mentored by M Akbar and Rounaq Mustafa.