ADB Ventures, the Asian Development Bank’s venture capital arm, has just announced its first two investments; Indian electric vehicle manufacturer Euler Motors and Indian CleanTech startup Smart Joules.

This is the fund’s first investment since being founded in early 2020. ADB Ventures’ first vehicle closed at $60 million last September 2020, $10 million over its initial target. It plans to deploy the fund within the next three years and the remaining amount will be set aside for follow-on investments to be disbursed from around 2024 to 2033. The two Indian startups are the firm’s first investment from its first vehicle and as a firm.

ADB Vice-President Ashok Lavasa said: “ADB Ventures will spur high-impact CleanTech, AgriTech, FinTech, and HealthTech innovations in developing Asia with its ecosystem building. Our vision is to crowd-in $1 billion of commercial investment towards the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

Euler Motors Series A closed at $9.4 million with ADB Ventures, Blume Ventures, Inventus Capital, and several others as investors. Smart Joules closed its Series A at $4.1 million, participated by ADB Ventures, Sangam Ventures, Max I. Limited, and several angel investors.

Euler Motors is an Indian electric vehicle manufacturer and fleet operator that provides last-mile logistics services. The EV startup’s fresh capital will be used for the launch of its three-wheeler cargo vehicle, with larger capacity and range, later this year, support further expansion across India, and according to the media release, the startup also aims to drive Southeast Asia’s transition to sustainable mobility.

Smart Joules is an Indian CleanTech startup that offers energy efficiency as-a-service by providing smart equipment management to boost energy efficiency in large facilities such as hospitals and other commercial buildings. Not only does the company provide services that save clients up to 40 percent on energy costs, but it is also able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by energy waste.

Based on its initial investments, the firm plans to stay true to its intentions of pursuing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investments in verticals such as FoodTech, AgriTech, HealthTech, FinTech, and CleanTech. The firm is currently partnered up with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Climate Investment Fund, Nordic Development Fund, Korea Venture Investment Corp., and Korea’s Ministry of Economy and Finance to help bring a more sustainable future to Asia.

“The ADB Ventures Equity Fund is the perfect vehicle for Finland to turn our development priorities into action. The Fund will catalyze private sector finance to address climate challenges while integrating gender aspects. Finland stands together with ADB to meet the region’s development challenges,” Finland’s Under-Secretary of State for Development Policy Elina Kalkku said.

Deputy Minister for International Affairs of the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Economy and Finance Taesik Yoon said, “Korea’s venture ecosystem has been accelerating the transition toward an innovative digital and green economy. We look forward to working closely with ADB Ventures to promote leading clean technologies in the Asia-Pacific region and achieve mutual prosperity in the post-COVID-19 era.”

“We see ADB Ventures among those unique vehicles capable of mobilizing public risk capital and private sector capital while taking advantage of ADB’s extensive operations and networks for climate innovation,” said Climate Investment Funds Head Mafalda Duarte.

Nordic Development Fund Managing Director Karin Isaksson added, “ADB Ventures represents a timely complement to traditional development approaches through the involvement of the private sector in addressing critical climate change challenges. We are pleased to be working with the ADB on this important initiative that has particular relevance in the post-COVID recovery.”

ADB Ventures has also recently announced its second vehicle with a target of $100 million by next year for companies in their Series B stage of funding for scaling and expansion.