Alia Bhatt Invests in Phool Co | Incense & Vegan Flower Leather D2C Brand
Temple Flower Waste Upcycling Company Phool.Co has announced that actor Alia Bhatt has joined the PHOOL family as an investor. Earlier, Phool.co had raised $2 million in a seed round from IAN Fund, Social Alpha (FISE), Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (San Francisco), and IIT Kanpur.
Phool was born 2017 when Ankit Agarwal, an engineering graduate, set out on a mission to preserve the Ganges River by collecting the floral waste from temples and mosques that is dumped in the river and flower-cycling (upcycling) it into patented fertilizer and incense sticks, branded as Phool.
“Phool incense stands out for its fine natural fragrances and amazing packaging. I admire the founder’s vision of making incense and bio-leather from recycled flowers that contribute to keeping our rivers clean, creating a humane alternative to leather and providing employment to women in India’s heartland.”Actor Alia Bhatt
The company has expanded its operations and has achieved 130% YoY growth for the past two years. The company’s vision is backed by strong RnD efforts and is based on sustainable development goals focused on creating a circular economy, promoting sustainable consumption, and bringing dignified livelihoods. The environment-friendly brand has also received Fair for Life – Fair trade and Ecocert Organic & Natural certifications.
IIT Kanpur had invested in and nurtured the company, while it was at the idea stage. Speaking on the latest development, Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur in a statement, said “In addition to sustainable and eco-friendly waste flower management, it is helping the upliftment of hundreds of women along the way.”
In a statement, Padmaja Ruparel, Founding Partner, IAN Fund said, “Innovative solutions for the sustainable development of the community is the need of the hour. Phool.co’s circular economy model brings triple bottom benefits of environmental, social, and financial sustainability.”
For its endeavours to make innovative and sustainable products, Phool.co has received several international recognitions including the prestigious United Nations Young Leaders Award for Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations Momentum of Change Award at COP, Asia Sustainability Award Hong Kong, Alquity Transforming Lives Awards, London and Breaking the Wall of Science, Berlin
Earlier, the team had developed a 27% cheaper alternative to thermocol. It is high-performing, mouldable, durable and potentially the world’s first-ever biodegradable thermocol – Say welcome to Florafoam
The company has also developed ‘Fleather‘ leveraging their flower cycling technology. This is a viable alternative to animal leather which was recently awarded PETA’s best innovation in the Vegan World.