IIT-Kanpur Backed Startup ‘Phool’ That Turns Wasted Temple Flowers Into Incense Sticks
| 2 minutes read
- Phool (it means Flower), a biomaterial startup, has raised $1.4 million in a funding round led by IAN Fund and San Francisco-based Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation.
- The startup works on a unique idea of turning wasted flowers from temples into incense sticks through a ‘flower cycling technology.’
- The startup had also launched ‘Fleather’ – a vegan alternative to leather.
Phool. Co, a biomaterial startup, has raised $1.4 million in a funding round led by IAN Fund and San Francisco-based Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. The startup is also backed by IIT Kanpur (India), Social Alpha, and others.
The startup works on a unique idea of turning wasted flowers from temples into incense sticks through a ‘flower cycling technology.’ The startup also set up a plant in the holy temple town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh in December 2019. Since then, the startup has gone on to launch several new products. One of the most interesting ones being – ‘Fleather’ – a leather alternative material. During the Indian festival of Holi, the startup also made news for its colors made out of flowers.
Ankit Agrawal CEO and Founder was visiting the temples on the Ganga banks in Bithoor, Kanpur, in 2015, when he thought of recycling floral waste. “Pollution caused by flowers, unlike industrial waste, is often overlooked in the drive to clean the holy river,” says Agarwal. And it’s not just the flowers rotting in the river but also the pesticides used on them, which can affect marine life.
“Through our efforts, we aim to build natural alternatives to synthetic chemical-based products by using deep-tech & Research. Perhaps India’s first natural incense brand is taking a digital-first approach and has the first-mover advantage as bio-leathers are barely available in India. The funds raised will be used to advance the research and scale the company’s operations,” said Mr Agrawal.
Phool is definitely setting a new benchmark because of their efforts towards the environment, and they are also utilizing temple waste in the best possible way. Other startups should also take the initiative to do something for the environment. Overall, startups should explore how they could work towards the environment, and not only this; it will also help to grow your business.
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Being a 21-year-old student and a CEO of a company is not easy. But I have always decided to do something unique for the young talent in our country; my passion motivated me to do something that can help shape people’s careers.