Phool.co is India’s first wellness brand to have both Fair for Life - Fairtrade and Ecocert Organic and Natural certifications
Phool.co, an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur-backed direct-to-consumer (D2C) wellness startup, has announced that Alia Bhatt is now an investor in the company.
Founded by engineering graduate Ankit Agarwal in July 2017, Phool.co is an innovative startup focused on the circular economy that converts floral waste into charcoal-free luxury incense products and other wellness products. The startup is also India’s first wellness brand to have Fair for Life - Fairtrade and Ecocert Organic and Natural certifications.
With deep-tech research, the startup has also developed “Fleather'' leveraging their flower cycling technology. Fleather is a viable alternative to animal leather and was recently awarded as PETA’s best innovation in the vegan world.
IIT Kanpur’s TBI, Foundation for Innovation in Research, Science and Technology (FIRST), which incubated PHOOL, is one of the best academic TBIs in the country. It is primarily engaged in hardware-based product development, a rare trait amongst the incubators of India.
Phool.co has rapidly expanded its operations and has consistently achieved 130% year-on-year growth for the past two years. Its vision is backed by strong R&D efforts and is based on sustainable development goals focused on creating a circular economy, promoting 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.”
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 said “I am indeed delighted to know that Phool has secured this funding. This innovative ‘flower cycling technology’ has brought revolutionary changes. In addition to sustainable and eco-friendly waste flower management, it is helping the upliftment of hundreds of women along the way. IIT Kanpur is proud to be the incubation partner for Phool."
Ankit Agarwal, founder, Phool.co 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 3 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 that is built, led and now even invested in by women.”
For its endeavors 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, Phool.co had raised USD 2 million in a seed round from IAN Fund, Social Alpha (FISE) and Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (San Francisco), and IIT Kanpur.