Circulate Capital, the Singapore-based investment management company, on Tuesday said it has made its debut deal in India by betting on plastic recycling firm, Lucro Plastecycle Pvt Ltd.
The investment was made through Circulate Capital Ocean Fund, which is dedicated to investing in startups solving ocean plastic crisis in South and Southeast Asia, Circulate Capital said in a statement.
Apart from Lucro, the company has also made its investment in an Indonesian firm through Circulate Capital Ocean Fund.
Circular Capital did not specify the amount it invested in Lucro but together with an investment in an Indonesian company, the fund has put in a total of $6 million, it added.
Ujwal Desai, co-founder and MD at Lucro, said the firm will use the funds to grow and scale its business.
The company has planned to open a new collection centre to increase post-consumer sourcing, and support and organise the informal waste sector and expand the range of its recycling processes, he added.
Mumbai-based Lucro, which was founded in 2012, recycles locally-sourced flexible plastic waste to manufacture flexible packaging products, such as shrink wrap and films. It also supplies recycled plastic granules to manufacturers for their production.
Currently, the company has facilities in Gujarat.
India's waste issue is huge as the country generates over 270 million metric tons of municipal solid waste annually.
Rob Kaplan, CEO at Circulate Capital, noted that the waste and recycling industry in India is highly fragmented and lacks the funding to effectively manage the waste generated.
“Lucro is at the forefront of plastic recycling in India, turning local plastic waste into an opportunity and transforming plastic consumption from a linear to a circular economy,” he added.
Circulate Capital invests in and supports startups, organizations and small and medium-sized enterprises across the entire plastic value chain.
Its Circulate Capital Ocean Fund has a corpus of $106 million. PepsiCo came in as the first Limited Partners (LPs), or investor, in the fund. Other LPs include major companies including The Coca-Cola Co, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone and CHANEL.
Deals in the segment
Some waste management firms in India have attracted funding from investors in the past years.
Last year, Dutch impact investor C4D Partners-backed waste management firm Saahas. Waste management and recycling startup Recykal also raised pre-Series A funding from Triton Investment Advisors and the Mumbai-based family office of adhesive maker Pidilite Industries director Ajay Parekh last year.
In a significant deal in 2018, KKR & Co. agreed to acquire a 60% stake in environmental services provider Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd for about $530 million (Rs 3,667 crore).
Earlier this year, Antony Waste Handling Cell Ltd had become the first waste management services company in India to float an initial public offering (IPO). However, it withdrew the public issue as it failed to secure enough subscription amid coronavirus scare.
Last month, Neev Fund-backed Singapore-based waste management company Blue Planet Environmental Solutions Pte Ltd raised $25 million (around Rs 190 crore) from Asian financial services group Nomura.