Leading cooling solutions company Tan90 has raised an Rs. 11.32 crore pre-Series A investment round co-led by Blue Ashva Capital and Capital A, with participation from 3i Partners and a clutch of angel investors based out of Singapore, the Middle East, and India.
The main purpose of this round is to expand overseas with a particular focus on Southeast Asia. Tan90 is also planning to enter Tier-2 cities in India to cash in on the growing demand for ‘cold chain solutions’ in the interior parts of the country. Tier-2 cities still rely on rudimentary solutions like ice and dry ice, which the company is aiming to replace with energy-efficient and cost-effective passive coolants like Phase Change Materials (PCMs). PCM panels or sachets can store thermal energy and, just like electrical batteries, provide passive support where grid power is expensive or unavailable.
“We are delighted to have secured this funding, which will support our expansion and enable us to introduce an innovative CaaS model to a wider audience. We are pioneering this segment in India, and given the fact that India is the fastest-growing cold chain market globally, we hope to create a substantial impact in this space by expanding our footprint in major cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Kochi, and Visakhapatnam in the coming quarter. We are confident in our capabilities to transform the cold chain industry and deliver sustainable and cost-effective solutions. Above all, we are grateful to our investors for their continued support”, said Soumalya Mukherjee, co-founder, who heads the fund-raising initiatives at Tan90.
The company is launching a unique cold chain model, ‘Cooling as a Service’ (CaaS), where it offers cooling solutions on lease to businesses that do not own blast freezers required to freeze the panels, i.e., thermal batteries. The technology is very similar to battery swapping, where the customers do not have to worry about asset cost, asset management, manpower costs or inventory. Through this initiative, the company is focussing on democratizing the cold chain, which is still limited to asset availability at the customer’s end. Cold chain is a necessity now, given the rising incidence of heat waves and global warming.
Commenting on the investment, Satya Bansal, founder at Blue Ashva Capital, said: “We have strong faith in the India growth story as it is a vast economy which is going to record above 6% growth in all likelihood this fiscal year. Naturally, there would be tremendous growth for the cooling solutions business as well, since it has strong linkages with the food, pharma, energy, logistics and transport sectors. Our second round of investment in the company signifies our continued faith in its business strategy and growth prospects.”
CaaS can prove a game changer for small businesses that can now transition away from dry ice, which is dangerous to handle and use. Moreover, dry ice is a consumable, and its supply chain issues create havoc on daily operations of many businesses like ice cream vendors. CaaS is already being offered in 5 cities — Pune, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, and Bangalore — where it has proved to reduce operational costs by 25% compared to reefer trucks.
Ankit Kedia, founder at Capital A stated: “The thermal solutions sector has magnificent growth potential, especially due to the global tectonic shift in energy resource and distribution business in response to the crucial climate challenges we face today. We believe Tan90 is best positioned in the industry to offer energy-efficient cooling solutions and grab substantial market share as it has proprietary cooling technologies. We found tremendous value to be associated with such a company.”
As part of its strategy, the company is aiming to invest in research and development (R&D), specifically in the areas of space cooling and data centre cooling. Further, the company is exploring options to enter the European Union markets where carbon credits are in place. Cooling is in great demand when buildings, HVAC and data centres are in question, and offsetting costs by incorporating passive coolants like Phase Change Materials is a game changer. Earlier, Tan90 entered the Philippines market, in collaboration with USAID, and made a big impact in the country’s fisheries industry. By eliminating the use of ice, Tan90 was successful in bringing out a 40% reduction in the clients’ operational costs, resulting in improved food quality, volume optimisation and reduced wastage.
Founded in January 2019 by 3 Ph.D. graduates from IIT Madras (Soumalya Mukherjee, Rajani Kant Rai, and Shiv Sharma), Tan90 is solving the problem of energy-efficient thermal management across industries. As the demand for cooling increases, it is essential to move to sustainable solutions that can cut carbon emissions drastically. The company is disrupting the cold chain industry (a significant energy-hungry industry) through its proprietary passive cooling solutions that enable clients to transport their perishables with any logistics service including electric vehicles. Tan90 has proudly moved more than 1500 tonnes of produce and has reduced carbon emissions by more than 25% in the process, reducing operational costs for clients by 40%.
Based on their proprietary cooling technologies, Tan90 has been catering to food industries, pharmaceutical, and diagnostics industries and aims to reach out to thermal management of batteries, industrial cooling, and space cooling as well in the future. Tan90 solutions were showcased in the recently concluded COP26, demonstrating the potential for 1.5 degrees’ Centigrade compatibility, and the capability to reduce 6.6 MtCO2 emissions per year by 2030.
Tan90 solutions have been recognized for their energy-efficient solutions by various organizations, which include energy bodies like the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, India, UNIDO, Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science and Technology, and GoI.