E Green Global

Korean Tech Solves Centuries-Old Challenge, Helping Secure Asia’s Potato Supply 

Korean Tech Solves Centuries-Old Challenge, Helping Secure Asia’s Potato Supply 

Potatoes are the world’s fourth-largest food resource1. Yet, only 10% of the global potato seed supply is certified as good-quality and disease-free2

Disease and adverse weather conditions plague traditional seed potato production, making quality microtubers expensive. Potato farmers who cannot access them suffer from significantly lower and more volatile yields.  

Korean agritech company E Green Global (EGG) is the world’s first innovator to solve this problem, successfully growing high-quality, lower-cost, lab-grown microtubers at a commercial scale. EGG’s patented tissue culture technology allows it to harvest disease-free microtubers continuously throughout the year in bio-secured plant factories. The process enables faster, higher-volume production and significantly reduced costs compared to conventional methods.  

The innovation has achieved global recognition. PotatoEurope recognized EGG with its prestigious Golden Innovation Award. EGG plans to develop similar technologies for sweet potato, cassava, onion, and garlic production.  

ADB Ventures invested in EGG in December 2021 to help the company scale up in developing markets in the Asia-Pacific. By 2025, EGG intends to produce more than 6 million tons of disease-free potatoes while eliminating 1.8m tons of CO2, the equivalent of removing 900,000 cars from the road for one year. 


1 Source: Journal of Integrative Agriculture  

Source: Potato Seed Systems 

1 Source: Journal of Integrative Agriculture
Source: Potato Seed Systems

Euler Motors

Electrifying India’s Light Commercial Vehicle Fleets 

Electrifying India’s Light Commercial Vehicle Fleets 

Electrifying India’s light commercial vehicles represents a USD 7 billion opportunity. The country boasts electric vehicle (EV)-friendly regulations, which in combination with decreasing battery costs are positioning EVs to become India’s preferred last-mile delivery technology.  

From there, India will be poised to respond to strong export demand from emerging economies. 

Euler Motors is a Delhi-based designer and manufacturer of electric vehicles for last-mile commercial logistics. It leverages proprietary battery cooling technology, optimized vehicle design, integrated vehicle diagnostics, battery management technology, and charging and service station networks to deliver lowest-cost sustainable mobility for its partners. The company has marquee customers including Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket, and Udaan. 

ADB Ventures invested in Euler Motors to accelerate the company’s growth and position the company to expand into other markets in developing Asia. Euler Motors aims to replace 50,000 fossil fuel-powered light commercial vehicles by 2025, avoiding 160,000 tons of CO2. 

Fairbanc

Enabling Credit Access for Indonesia’s Small Business Owners.

Enabling Credit Access for Indonesia’s Small Business Owners 

Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) form the backbone of the Indonesian economy, contributing about 6 per cent of GDP and 97 per cent of total employment. Despite the sector’s importance, Indonesia has an estimated MSME credit gap of USD 166 billion.  

 Fairbanc, a fintech company with primary operations in Jakarta, partners with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) distributors to allow unbanked or financially underserved MSME owners to make inventory purchases on a “Buy Now Pay Later” basis. The company enables this via its proprietary AI-powered credit scoring platform, which allows quick microcredit distribution to MSMEs.   

 Since its inception in 2019, Fairbanc has partnered with major FMCG firms including Unilever, L’Oréal, and Danone to help over 60,000 MSMEs, many of them women-owned businesses struggling amid the pandemic, grow their sales by 35 per cent.   

 ADB Ventures joined a fundraising round for Fairbanc in June 2021 to help contribute to financial inclusion and climate resilience in emerging Asia.  Part of this funding will specifically support development of a product recommendation system to provide information alerts to MSEMs on in-demand products during climate events in addition to a business continuity program to build their capacity to be more resilient during such times including securing inventory, emergency lighting, and back-up suppliers. 

Fairbanc will use the invested funds to create new distributor partnerships and strengthen its sales and marketing teams to reach more than 120,000 Indonesian MSME operators by 2025. 

Nuventura

Climate-Friendly Alternative Mitigates World’s Most Harmful Greenhouse Gas.

Climate-Friendly Alternative Mitigates World’s Most Harmful Greenhouse Gas

As Asia’s electricity demand increases, power grid operators must continuously invest in gas-insulated switchgear (GIS). Unfortunately, the most common gas used to insulate this switchgear is Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6), the world’s most potent greenhouse gas. 

SF6 contributes 23,500 times more by to climate change by weight than carbon dioxide1. Leaks of SF6 across the European Union in one year alone (2017) contributed as much to climate change as 1.3 million new petroleum-fueled passenger cars2. SF6 can also persist in the atmosphere for up to 3,200 years. 

Worldwide, the energy distribution industry contributes 80 percent of all SF6 emissions3. The use of SF6 is expected to grow more than 75 percent by 20304. Developing Asia, with its fast-rising demand for electricity, will contribute most of this increase. 

Nuventura, an early-stage company, pioneered the world’s first SF6-free, dry-air, medium-voltage GIS technology. Nuventura replaces SF6 with pressurized air, maintaining the strength of traditional GIS switchgear while integrating smart sensors for continuous monitoring. Nuventura’s product can reduce switchgear operations and maintenance costs by up to 30 percent.  

Nuventura’s technology has been fully type-tested against International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards. It entered the commercialization phase at the end of 2020.  

Nuventura deploys its technology by licensing local switchgear manufacturers to manufacture and sell SF6-free switchgear. This model gives Nuventura’s solution high potential to scale globally including in Asia-Pacific markets, where it is already in use in the People’s Republic of China.  

ADB Ventures invested in Nuventura in December 2021 and plans to support the company to scale across Asia and the Pacific. The company aims to mitigate 36,600 tons of CO2e in the region by 2025. 

[1]  Source: Greenhouse Gas Protocol
[2],[4] Source: BBC
[3] Source: Forbes


Satsure

Satellite Data Unlocks Access to Finance for India’s Climate-Vulnerable Farmers.

Satellite Data Unlocks Access to Finance for India’s Climate-Vulnerable Farmers

Agriculture accounts for 49 percent of India’s employment and feeds 1.3 billion people. Yet farmers in more than 75 percent of India’s districts face risks from extreme climate events1.  

Improved access to finance would increase farmers’ resilience to climate-related crop damage and lost income. Yet India’s financial institutions struggle to work with the 78 percent of farmer households that are smallholders2 due to the difficulty and expense of assessing risk. 

Bengaluru-based SatSure has developed a data analytics platform that unlocks finance for smallholder farms. SatSure aggregates real-time and historical data from satellites and operations. Proprietary AI-powered modelling gauges a farm’s income generation potential, allowing financial institutions to assess risk more accurately. The solution empowers financial institutions to issue credit and insurance policies faster, in higher volume, and more cost-effectively. 

Since its inception in 2017, SatSure has partnered with India’s leading financial institutions and insurance companies including ICICI Bank, Reliance General Insurance, and Samunnati Finance. It has reduced agricultural loan appraisals from 15 days to just one. 

ADB Ventures invested in SatSure in early 2022 to grow the company’s product portfolio and aid regional expansion. Satsure expects to support 2.5 million loans to smallholder farmers in the region by 2025, contributing to their climate resilience.


[1] Source: Council on Energy, Environment and Water
[2] Source: FAO

Skycatch

Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Infrastructure Construction.

Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Infrastructure Construction  

Construction accounts for 11 per cent of global CO2 emissions and is a major contributor to air and water pollution. 90 per cent of major construction projects also face cost overruns and schedule delays. Supervision of construction and infrastructure projects depends on human observations, which are costly and prone to error.  

Skycatch uses drone-based aerial surveying to provide affordable and accurate digital 3D models of construction sites, enabling frequent and accurate project tracking, eliminating wastage, reducing delays and mistakes, and improving workflows. Operating across multiple ADB DMCs, Skycatch is targeting the global construction, renewable energy, and extractive industries, and is working with key clients including Komatsu, Goldwind, Teck Resources, and Anglo American. 

ADB Ventures invested in Skycatch in March 2021. Through this investment, ADB Ventures aims to catalyze the adoption of enabling technology in infrastructure projects, which would result in reduced carbon footprints, improved safety, and operational efficiency. 

Skycatch is targeting to deploy their technology in more than 2,000 projects in developing Asia by 2025, which will avert 1.1 million tonnes of CO2. 

Smart Joules

Powering Energy Efficiency in Emerging Market Hospitals.

Powering Energy Efficiency in Emerging Market Hospitals

India is the world’s third-largest consumer of primary energy. While traditional energy-efficiency solutions are out of the price range of many potential commercial customers, the New Delhi-based start-up Smart Joules is mainstreaming affordable energy-efficiency-as-a-service for Indian hospitals and commercial buildings. 

Smart Joules works with top-20 Indian hospital chains including Fortis, Apollo, and CARE. It retrofits hospital buildings with modern energy-efficiency equipment and sensors; and maximizes energy savings by leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) technology and proprietary machine-learning algorithms. 

ADB Ventures invested in Smart Joules in February 2021, aiming to create a category-leader in energy-efficiency-as-a-service in emerging Asia. Smart Joules will use the invested funds to build up its energy management team and work with more hospitals, commercial buildings, and industries with high air conditioning loads such as pharmaceuticals and data centres. 

Smart Joules’ aim is to transform building energy efficiency in emerging Asia by avoiding 130,000 tonnes of CO2 by 2025

Wagely

Expanding the Financial Resilience of Indonesian Workers

Expanding the Financial Resilience of Indonesian Workers 

Many Indonesian workers live paycheck-to-paycheck and lack the financial flexibility to respond to emergencies. Wagely, a Jakarta-based fintech, is resetting the traditional “payday” paradigm with a service that allows employees of local companies to withdraw already-earned salaries before their next payroll date.  

Wagely’s solution opens lifelines for workers who live in Jakarta, which frequently experiences flooding and other climate-related shocks. It also helps reduce their reliance on predatory or high-interest emergency loans. Meanwhile, Wagely allows employers to benefit from increased employee productivity and higher retention rates. The company has onboarded 21 employers in Jakarta to date, extending its service to a total of 22,000 employees.  

ADB Ventures invested in Wagely in June 2021 to help the company improve its technology stack and develop more financial products and services.  

Wagely aims to expand financial inclusion and increase the climate resilience of at least 400,000 low- to middle-income workers in the Jakarta Metropolitan Area by 2025.  

Inno CSR

Rebuilding the Brick Industry.

Rebuilding the Brick Industry 

South Asia is currently in an unprecedented phase of rapid urbanization. Accelerated industrialization and economic growth have led to an increased demand for construction materials – particularly bricks. A World Bank 2020 study reports that South Asia produces 21 per cent of the world’s bricks, second only to China. 

Brickmaking is also a major driver of climate impact. In Nepal alone, the sector is responsible for 37 per cent of CO2 emissions and causes approximately 600 annual deaths, placing a USD 46 million annual burden on Nepal’s public health system, according to the World Bank report. 

In 2019, InnoCSR – based in the Republic of Korea – introduced a non-fired brick making technology to the Nepalese market known as the Good Bricks System (GBS). GBS’s production process eliminates the need to burn coal and firewood, which in turn cuts greenhouse gas emissions and improves the working conditions for employees, many of whom are women. 

In contrast to traditional brick making that requires 28 days to produce a brick, the GBS process only takes five days without compromising quality. 

InnoCSR’s business model is based on incentivizing brick manufacturers to adopt GBS as their primary production technology and purchase a continuous supply of the company’s proprietary brick stabilizer. In-house engineering teams are regularly sent to provide technical support and assistance to the manufacturers on the production processes and maintenance of machinery. 

After establishing a presence in the Nepalese market, InnoCSR has started targeting other South Asian markets. ADB Ventures has provided InnoCSR with Seed financing to support the company’s regional expansion

Komunidad

Climate Forecasting for the World’s Most Vulnerable Region.

Climate Forecasting for the World’s Most Vulnerable Region 

The Asia-Pacific region is the world’s most disaster-prone, facing risks from droughts, flooding, temperature extremes, and storms.1 Yet the region’s communities, utilities, and businesses often lack access to localized and affordable climate and weather forecasting systems.  

Philippines-based Komunidad is a climate and weather data intelligence company. The company integrates real-time environmental data from sources including satellites, sensors, and weather stations. It uses this data to provide localized, affordable analytics and timely alerts.  

Komunidad has built solutions for four types of customers. It offers a multi-hazard tool for municipalities, including a civilian app for citizen safety, disaster visibility, and mosquito surveillance. It also offers a continuity planning tool for business. And a tool that helps the agriculture sector plan seeding, irrigation, and harvesting. Lastly, it has built a specialized dashboard to help electric utilities forecast grid demand, which not only builds utilities’ resilience but also mitigates some of their climate impact.  

Komunidad has achieved promising commercial traction. Since its inception in 2019, it has partnered with two municipalities, three energy utilities, and 11 commercial customers in the Philippines. Komunidad is now expanding across the Asia-Pacific region. It has completed two agricultural pilots in Vietnam and has entered a joint venture to serve customers in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, it is targeting customers in India and Thailand.  

ADB Ventures provided Komunidad Seed financing to support its regional expansion. The company aspires to help communities across Asia and the Pacific build their resilience to climate-related weather events, and to help the agriculture sector mitigate its climate impact through more efficient use of water and fertilizer.  

1 Source: UNOCHA