Kanpur-based Phool, a biomaterial startup & fragrance-focused wellness brand, has raised $8 million in its series A funding round from consumer fund, Sixth Sense Ventures.
Existing investors stress Alia Bhatt and IAN fund also participated in this round.
The startup plans to use this fund to further scale up operations, explore untapped domestic and global growth opportunities and build India’s largest fragrance brand. In addition, it will also accelerate R&D efforts to make animal leather obsolete with feathers, a revolutionary vegetarian alternative to animal leather.
Phool was founded in 2017 by engineering graduate Ankit Agarwal, phool.co converts flower waste into charcoal-free luxury incense sticks products and other wellness products. This startup is also the first wellness brand in India to have Fair for Life – Fair trade and Ecocert Organic and Natural certification.
They collect flower waste from temples and mosques in Uttar Pradesh. This waste is handcrafted by rural women’s self-help groups through the cycling of flowers in the form of patented organic fertilizers and incense sticks.
“In a short time, our modest efforts have managed to create a dent in the Indian fragrance industry. Phool as a brand today is synonymous with luxury fragrance products on account of our unwavering focus on superior product experience, and honest ingredients. We plan to transform the global home fragrance market and build a distinct brand with our product range. We have already made strong inroads in the rapidly growing Indian market that has been starved for good quality products. The Sixth Sense investment is a testament to our vision to build a global fragrance brand from India. I believe Nikhil’s acumen and knack for unlocking opportunities will fuel our growth story in the years to come”, said, Ankit Agarwal, founder of Phool.
The IIT-Kanpurbacked startup has put India on the global innovation map with its path-breaking invention ‘Fleather – Leather from Flowers’.
“The under-penetrated home fragrances industry presents a large, white space to be exploited. Plus, a clear shift to natural and sustainable alternatives is creating a strong demand for Phool’s products. The brand’s premium and international appeal can be easily leveraged across the globe, presenting a huge untapped opportunity for Phool’s certified, Indian-origin products”, said, Nikhil Vohra, Founder, and CEO of Sixth Sense Ventures.
“A keen innovator and acute executioner, Ankit, and his unrelenting spirit has led him to build an outstanding team with multiple patents to their name. Their moonshot, Fleather, is a game-changing innovation and presents a massive potential opportunity. Super thrilled to partner with Ankit and team to dominate the global market”, he added.
The startup claims that 7600 kg of waste flowers and 97 kg of toxic chemicals are prevented from entering the river every day.