Bollywood actress and entrepreneur Alia Bhatt, last week invested an undisclosed amount in Phool.co, a D2C startup that focuses on flower-cycling technologies to upcycle cellulose waste and specializes in manufacturing charcoal-free incense and other wellness products. Bhatt is also an investor in the beauty and wellness startup Nykaa, and the personalised styling platform StyleCracker.
Sharing her thoughts about Phool.co, Bhatt in a press statement shared,
“Phool incense really 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. I’m proud that these products are created in India and wowing the world and I’m thrilled to join the investors who are backing the company,”
Founded in 2017 by Ankit Agarwal, an engineering graduate, Phool.co helps convert waste into charcoal-free luxury incense and other wellness products.
The company last raised $2 million funding in a seed round from a clutch of investors including IAN Fund, Social Alpha (FISE), Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (San Francisco), and IIT Kanpur.
Leveraging its deeptech capabilities, Phool.co has developed a commercially viable alternative to animal leather called “Feather” which has recently garnered an award from PETA.
Speaking of the investment round, Ankit Agarwal, said,
“At Phool.co, we aim to drive systemic change through innovation. Alia’s investment is a validation of our efforts and firmly sets us on a path to build a global success story from a tier III city. The investment and support will help us expand our footprint globally and also step up the pace of R&D. I can proudly say, Phool.co is a business built, led, and now even invested in by women,”
Dr. Abhay Karandikar, director of IIT Kanpur, said,
“IIT Kanpur is proud to be a partner of Phool. I am glad that we could help the company technologically but at the same time, I must acknowledge that PHOOL.co brought a lot of visibility to our incubator and the subsequent stupendous success of SIIC is at least in part due to its success,”
Manoj Kumar, Founding Partner, Social Alpha (FISE), said,
“Ankit has truly demonstrated how passionate entrepreneurs can solve some of our most complex problems with their disruptive innovations. The team has the rare combination of empathy, audacious goals, extraordinary resilience, and flawless execution to build and scale a sustainable business model. Phool.co will only grow bigger with time,”
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,”