Hyderabad: AIC-IIIT-Hyderabad supported waste recycling startup Phool.co has raised Rs 10.5 crore in a pre-series A round of funding through IAN Fund and San Francisco-based Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. Founded by engineering graduates, Ankit Agarwal and Prateek Kumar in 2017, the startup is focused on the circular economy and helps to convert the floral waste into charcoal free luxury incense products.
The startup has developed Fleather, a viable alternative to animal leather, leveraging their flower cycling technology and it was recently awarded PETA’s best innovation in the Vegan World. It has expanded its operations to Tirupati and during the lockdown, the company ensured its supply chain by sourcing flower waste directly from the distressed horticulture farmers, bringing them critical income.
In its early growth stage, Phool.co was supported by AIC-IIIT-H Foundation through its PRIF Incubation Programme with a seed grant of Rs 30 lakh. Ankit Agarwal said, “Through our efforts, we aim to build natural alternatives to synthetic chemical-based products by using deep-tech and research.
We are perhaps India’s first natural incense brand taking a digital-first approach and have a first-mover advantage as bio-leathers are barely available in India.”