Alternative energy is becoming the next exciting area of growth all over the world, with a large amount of VC money moving out of tech into Alternate Energy ventures since Summer of 2006.
What was more interesting, however, is that even in Pakistan the few venture funding firms are now looking beyond the “Telecom; Media; Tech” bracket and moving into Alternate Energy as well.
This new fund is explicitly focused away from TMT startups and is a growth-stage (read: not for startup) fund, focused particularly on Alternative Energy startups among a few other verticals.
I didn’t think of it much at first — where’s any “growth-stage” alternative energy work happening in PK?
Turns out though, there are a few people on it.
First, there are many research projects underway at academic levels, but more and more of these are being tied into practical implementations that then spin off companies. I hear good things from the Alternative Energy Board leadership in the types of projects they are collaborative with universities on.
Secondly, there are a number of startups and NGO-startups focusing on providing alternative energy sources for villages, such as Clean Power (Pvt) Ltd. One of my close colleagues also recently started an alternative energy supply venture to provide cost efficiencies for industrial plants.
The most famous implementations have been an NGO group (I forget the name) that has been providing LED Lighting + bicycle-charged batteries for villages — its the most cost efficient and implementable solution I have seen yet.
Finally, I noticed today that PSO is now pilot-testing a new ethanol-based fuel product “E-10”, which is not only cheaper than petrol, but more environment friendly.
Pakistan has lost the BPO and IT Services game to India, but lets hope they can take an edge in Alternative Fuels.
Do you know about Alternative Energy startups? Send me their links in the comments.