E-waste management firm EcoCentric raises growth capital

EcoCentric Management Pvt Ltd (ECMPL), a Mumbai-based e-waste management firm, has raised its first round of growth capital from a couple of high net worth individuals (HNIs), a top company executive told News Corp VCCircle.

Karan Thakkar, MD of ECMPL, said the company will be using the funds mainly to increase capacity and expand its reach pan-India.

The undisclosed amount has been raised from UK-based seed-stage investor Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, founder of Euro Car Parts, one of UK’s biggest parts distributors for cars and light vehicles. Badri Baldawa, founder of the three-decade-old Seeba Group, also participated in the round. The Mumbai-based Seeba Group manufactures and exports stainless steel kitchenware and homeware products.

“With the experience, expertise and reach that Baldawa and Ahluwalia bring, the team is very confident to play a leadership role in the Indian e-waste recycling sector,” Thakkar said.

Encito Advisors acted as financial adviser to ECMPL for the transaction.

Launched in 2011, ECMPL offers services such as e-waste disposal, data destruction, asset recovery, and logistics and reporting and certification services. The company claims to be assisting some of the largest conglomerates in disposing of their e-waste. Thakkar said the company is even providing closed-circuit television (CCTV) security surveillance, so that clients can witness the destruction of their materials.

A slew of startups have sprung up in the past two years to manage the country’s burgeoning e-waste problem. Prominent names include ExtraCarbon, Karma Recycling, Pom Pom and Attero Recycling (all Delhi NCR-based), and Bangalore-based EnCashea, which collects scrap in exchange for money.

Some of them have also succeeded in drawing investors’ attention. In August, Gurgaon-based Greentooth Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates the online platform ExtraCarbon, was looking to raise Rs 1.5 crore ($225,000 then) in a round led by Brand Capital, the ad-for-equity investment arm of Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd (BCCL)

In June, Kabadiexpress, a startup that collects scrap from homes and offices and sells it to recycling plants, had raised Rs 1 crore from a Delhi-based investor.

Karma Recycling raised an undisclosed amount in June last year from Infuse Ventures and the Low Carbon Enterprise Fund managed by Environmental Resources Management Foundation.

Noida-based Attero Recycling Pvt. Ltd, which is also into e-waste disposal and management, raised $16.5 million in its Series C round led by private equity firm Forum Synergies (India) in August 2014.

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