Alia Bhatt Turns Investor For Phool.co- A D2C Start-Up Sponsored By IIT Kanpur

Alia Bhatt is here to invest in an IIT Kanpur start up that produces natural incense and bio-leather. It’s going to have a huge market in the coming future

Phool.co, an IIT Kanpur-backed D2C health business, announced today that Alia Bhatt has joined its board of directors.

It was founded in July 2017 by engineering graduate Ankit Agarwal as an unique business focusing on the circular economy that turns flower waste into Charcoal free Luxury incense items and other health goods. The company is also India’s first wellness brand to be certified by Fair for Life-Fairtrade and Ecocert Organic & Natural. The firm has also created “Fleather” using deep-tech research, utilising its flowercycling technology. Fleather is a suitable replacement to animal leather, and it was recently recognised as PETA’s greatest innovation in the Vegan World.

Phool.co has swiftly extended its activities and has regularly grown at a rate of 130 percent year on year over the previous two years. The Phool.co vision is supported by significant R&D efforts and is founded on sustainable development goals that include establishing a circular economy, encouraging sustainable consumption, and bringing dignified livelihoods.

Speaking on the latest investment, Alia Bhatt, who is known for her environmental initiatives, said, “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.”

Earlier this year, Alia Bhatt invested in Nykaa, an omnichannel lifestyle store, citing three reasons for her decision: the company’s Indian roots, worldwide size, and the fact that it was established by a woman. Phool.co has received several international recognitions for its efforts to create innovative and sustainable products, 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.

Previously, Phool.co secured $ 2 million in a seed round from IAN Fund, Social Alpha (FISE), and Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (San Francisco), as well as IIT Kanpur. The INR 375 crore IAN Fund is a distinctively distinguished seed/early stage fund that aspires to change India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The fund invests in cutting-edge startups in industries such as healthcare and medical devices, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, software as a service, marketplaces, fin-tech, big data, artificial intelligence, agritech, and hardware. To nurture and grow creative firms, the Fund leverages and expands on the strengths and accomplishments of IAN, the world’s biggest angel investor network.

(Also Read: Alia Bhatt’s Sassiest Replies That Prove She’s The Ultimate Star)

Institutional investors include SIDBI’s Fund of Funds for Startups, BIRAC’s ACE Fund, Kerala Startup Mission, IIFL, Wadhwani Foundation, Max Group, and Hyundai, as well as notable people such as Kris Gopalakrishnan, Sunil Munjal, Rajan Anandan, Kanwal Rekhi, Vikram Gandhi, and Jerry Rao. This is the first of a series of Funds that will invest Rs 5000 Cr in 500 startups over the next ten years, making the IAN Platform the single largest platform for early stage investing.

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