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Acumen Fund to invest $375,000 in Bihar based Husk Power System

Venture capital firm Acumen Fund announced to invest $375,000 in Bihar based Husk Power Systems (HPS), a rural electrification company that will establish decentralized power generation to remote villages in India. It uses novel biomass gasification technology to convert abundant rice husks into combustible gases, which then drive a generator to produce electricity.

“Our goal is to have our model help to deliver rural electrification to India's villages and eventually to rural areas around the world,” said Gyanesh Pandey, Co-Founder and CEO, HPS. HPS plans to set up 50 systems providing electricity to 125 villages by the end of 2010 with a long term vision of deploying 2000 plants reaching 5000 villages and over 20 million individuals, while creating 6000 jobs. A plant is installed along with low-voltage insulated wiring to each household, business, or farm, with HPS charging subscription fees to each user according to the number and type of the electrical appliances they own.

“Companies like HPS are working to impact positively not only the environment, but to ensure that someday everyone, including the poorest of the poor in rural India, will have access to clean and affordable electricity,” said Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO, Acumen Fund.

“With Acumen's investment in Husk, our energy portfolio now includes companies that are using solar, hydro and biomass to bring clean and affordable electricity to the poor,” said Raj Kundra, Acumen's Energy Portfolio Director.

Last year, the rural electrification company, had got financial support from Shell Foundation. Varun Sahni, Acumen Fund’s India Director said, “We're investing in HPS as it has the potential to scale and make a lasting social impact.” HPS also bagged the first prize, including investment of $250,000, in the Global Business Plan Competition 2009 by leading global VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Cisco.
Source: Silicon India

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