With more than 150 countries expected to hold environment-themed events, environmental experts hope this year’s World Environment Day will spur a global effort to tackle what they describe as the decline of the environment. natural world. Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), said: “We are racing against the clock. wars and oceans full of plastic, action is more important than ever.”
On the occasion of World Environment Day, here is a look at five Indian startups that are working across different sectors with the aim of making environmentally friendly decisions and contributing to the transition to a greener future.
It is India’s first-ever biomaterials startup and a fragrance-focused wellness brand. Phool.co is a flower recycling tech startup and so far it has raised $8 million (Rs 60.5 crore) in a Series A from Sixth Sense Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on the consumer.
Phool.co was founded in 2017 by engineering graduates Ankit Agarwal and Prateek Kumar. The start-up uses floral waste, collected when temple waste is dumped into rivers, to make patented organic fertilizers and luxury charcoal-free incense products.
Currently, this Kanpur-based startup is accumulating flower waste from three Indian cities, including one of the largest temples (Kashi Vishwanath), preventing 13 tons of flower waste and toxic chemicals from reaching the river every day.
It should be noted that self-help women’s groups turn the waste by hand into patented charcoal-free incense sticks and essential oils using “flower cycle” technology. Additionally, it is India’s first direct-to-consumer wellness brand to achieve the coveted Fair for Life-Fairtrade and Ecocert Organic and Natural certifications. And, that’s not all, this IIT-backed startup invented Fleather, “leather made from flowers.” With this vegan and commercially viable alternative to animal leather, the startup hopes to make the use of animal leather obsolete.
2. Banyan Nation
One of India’s first vertically integrated plastic recycling companies, Banyan Nation is a waste management company that collects plastic waste from industries and recycles it for further use. The startup uses its unique technology platform to integrate thousands of informal workers and produces premium recycled polyolefin plastics (PE and PP) for consumer and high-quality applications.
Founded by Mani Vajipeyajula and Rajkiran Madangopal, this Hyderabad-based company leverages technological solutions to collect plastic from informal businesses and recyclers. Interestingly, the company has won the Global Technology Pioneers Award from the World Economic Forum (2021), the Circulars Award at the World Economic Forum (2018 Intel-DST Award Innovations for Digital India (2017), Millennium Alliance Grant (2016) and mBillionth Award (2015) .
3. Blu Smart
Commencing operations in 2019, BlueSmart is an app-based all-electric transportation business platform for consumers with around 600 electric vehicles (EVs) operating in the Delhi-NCR region.
This Indian company is currently in competition with the giants of the sector Ola and Uber, with a fleet of electric vehicles dedicated to customers seeking sustainable mobility. Founded by Anmol Jaggi and Punit Goyal, the electric vehicle transportation and charging startup recently raised $25 million (about ₹194 crore) in a new funding round.
The funding follows the Series A round that closed in September 2021, bringing the total Series A investment to $50.7 million. The company said it raised $25 million in the Series A1 round, comprising $15 million in equity and $10 million in debt at risk.
The round was led by BP Ventures and Green Frontier Capital, with participation from existing investors. Venture debt funding comes from Stride Ventures, Alteria Capital, BlackSoil and UCIC. Additionally, BluSmart said it plans to use the funds to expand its all-electric vehicle fleet to more than 5,000 EVs and expand its network of EV superhubs across Delhi-NCR.
As India’s leading solar energy startup, ZunRoof is creating waves by focusing on the residential solar segment by providing the best on-grid solar solutions. Currently with major operations in the Delhi NCR region, the four-year-old startup is rapidly expanding into other geographies.
According to the company statement, “Out of the 1805 net solar meters installed in Delhi, ZunRoof has installed more than 300 net solar meters, claiming the top spot as an individual contributor to residential adoption in the Delhi-NCR region” .
So far, ZunRoof has worked with 1000 households in Gujarat to go solar by installing 1000 solar roofs in Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara. The solar segment is broadly divided into commercial, residential and industrial scales where the size and complexity of projects vary widely, the company’s statement said. Notably, the residential solar segment is particularly difficult to penetrate given that the individual customer needs to be educated on the solar configuration and the feasibility of having a rooftop solar energy collection unit.
5. Ather Energy
It is an Indian electric vehicle company founded by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain in 2013. Based in Bangalore, Ather Energy manufactures two electric scooters, the Ather 450X and Ather 450 Plus. In addition, it has also set up an electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the country called Ather Grid.
Last month, the maker of electric two-wheelers announced a fundraising of $128 million (about ₹991 crore) from the Strategic Opportunities Fund (SOF) of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited (NIIFL) and Hero MotoCorp along with other investors, Ather Energy said in a statement. The company said it plans to use the funding to expand its manufacturing facilities, invest in research and development, charging infrastructure and expand its retail network.
Additionally, the electric vehicle company partnered with HDFC Bank and IDFC First Bank to offer retail financing for its electric scooters earlier this year. The collaboration enabled Ather Energy customers to benefit from instant loans from both private lenders at low interest rates and with maximum LTV (Loan-to-value), according to the company’s statement.