Pune-based cleantech startup Nocca Robotics has raised INR 12.4 Cr ($1.7 Mn) in a seed funding round led by Indian Angel Network Fund. The angel investors of IAN also invested in the round.
Nocca Robotics will use the funds to set up a robust manufacturing facility. The company will also use the funding to bolster its research and development and strengthen the production team.
Nocca Robotics was founded in 2017 by Harshit Rathore, Nikhil Kurele, Ajeet Chansuriya, Mayur Chate and Samar Ahmed. The company uses technologies such as AI, machine learning, deep learning and robotics to provide automated, waterless and shareable solar panel cleaning solution for utility-scale solar parks.
Nocca Robotics: Saving Water And Supporting Solar Energy
The company is aiming to address the sustainability challenge of solar energy operations: the high financial and environmental costs of keeping solar panels clean. Indian solar plants spend close to INR 500 Cr annually to clean solar plants multiple times a month. Plant owners also reportedly incur production losses due to dust accumulation.
To address this, Nocca Robotics offers the waterless robotic cleaning solution to utility solar park developers and large rooftop installation companies in India. In addition to offering easy operability, the product’s shareable feature makes it extremely cost-efficient.
Harshit Rathore, CTO and cofounder, Nocca Robotics, said, “Our waterless and shareable robotic solar panel cleaning solution enables plant owners to operate at peak efficiency while generating attractive ROIs by curbing unnecessary spends on manual cleaning and increasing the power generation.”
With the new manufacturing facility, the company will be creating robots with improved quality control. This establishment will cater to 1GW of solar power per year. Further, the team will work towards realising its concepts and rolling out products for industrial utility in the market.
It is also looking to launch a robot dedicated to clean rooftop solar panel installations which differ from industry-implants in both size and scale.Saurabh Srivastava, controlling and designated partner, IAN Fund, said, “Nocca Robotics, born in IIT Kanpur has with its unique IP for waterless robotic cleaning of solar panels and other surfaces, is well poised to leverage the government’s focus on scaling the country’s solar power generation capacity to 100 GW by 2020.”
Cleantech Industry In India
Cleantech ecosystem in India has become the need of the hour as India addresses it efforts to conserve renewable energy in the face of increasing pollution and exhausted non-renewable energy sources.
The Department of Science and Technology is setting up a clean energy centre for integration of intermittent renewables with suitable energy storage in on-grid or off-grid situations. The renewable energy market in India alone is estimated to be at $17 Bn and is expected to continue growing at 15% annually.