A waste recycling start-up in Kanpur, supported earlier by AIC-IIITH Foundation, has raised ₹10.5 crore in a pre-series A round.
Phool.co, the start-up, which converts floral waste into charcoal free luxury incense products, raised the funds through IAN Fund and San Francisco-based Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a release on Thursday said.
With deep-tech research and leveraging its flower cycling technology, it has developed ‘Fleather’. A viable alternative to animal leather, Fleather was recently awarded PETA’s best innovation in the vegan world.
Phool.co has expanded its operations to Tirupati. During the lockdown, the company ensured its supply chain by sourcing flower waste directly from the distressed horticulture farmers, bringing them critical income in the toughest of times, the release said.
AIC-IIITH Foundation is an Atal Incubation Center set up for incubating and supporting tech-based social enterprises. In its early growth stage, Phool.co was supported by the Foundation through its PRIF Incubation Programme with a seed grant of ₹30 lakh. PRIF Incubation programme is an initiative by Pernod Ricard India Foundation to support social impact organisations.
Co-founder Ankit Agarwal said that the funds raised will be used to advance research and scale operations.
Director at AIC-IIITH Ramesh Loganathan said that Phool.co is an example of how with a little support, tech-based social innovation can have massive and sustainable impact in areas like waste management and employment generation.