15 October, 2021 Member article

Oorja Secures $1 Million in Seed Funding to Scale up Pay-per-use Farming Services Powered by Clean Energy

11 October 2021 – Oorja has completed its US$ 1 million Seed funding round with equity investment from Schneider Electric Energy Access Asia (SEEAA) and grant funding from Water & Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F) and the DOEN Foundation. This capital will be used for agri-energy infrastructure projects and to expand operations and the team in northern India. The company has been supported by Cross Border Growth Capital in structuring the transaction.

Oorja’s mission is to empower 10 million farmers globally by 2030 with the agricultural services they need to sustainably increase their income and quality of life. It provides solar-powered affordable services of irrigation, milling and cooling to smallholder farmers that were previously reliant on diesel engines for their on-farm energy needs. The objective is to increase farmers’ agricultural productivity, to strengthen food systems and to reduce carbon emissions. Oorja has pioneered an inclusive pay-per-use model to ‘servitise’ the use of productive-use appliances. Users pay based on the volume of irrigation water used or the quantity of grains processed or produce stored.

The funding will help Oorja scale its operations in existing and new markets in India over the next 18 months. The company will expand its customer base in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Oorja will deploy 121 solar projects concentrated in 22 Clusters impacting up to 6,000 low-income households by December 2022. It will also bring on board new talent at the middle and senior management levels.