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IAN Fund leads Series A funding in air pollution control firm Chakr
Photo Credit: Chakr Innovation

Chakr Innovation Pvt. Ltd, which is building a suite of products to reduce air pollution, has raised Rs 19 crore ($2.87 million) in its Series A round of funding led by IAN Fund, the debut fund of the Indian Angel Network.

IDFC Parampara Fund and Jyoti Sagar, founder of law firm J Sagar Associates, also participated in the funding round, IAN Fund said in a statement on Thursday.

Chakr Innovation will use the funds to enhance its emission-control technology and expand its operations across more than 12 cities in the next 18 months. The company is currently present in Delhi-NCR, Pune and Bengaluru where it has installed its technology at over 70 sites.

The startup was founded by IIT graduates Kushagra Srivastava, Arpit Dhupar and Bharti Singhla. Its main product -- Chakr Shield -- has the ability to capture 500 kilograms of particulate matter from the air, the company claims. The company also reuses the captured pollutant particles as raw materials for inks and paints. 

Co-founder Srivastava said the company also aims to work with the government, which under the  National Clean Air Programme seeks to achieve the national level target of 20-30% reduction of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2024.

"IAN Fund is focused on supporting innovative ventures catering to a need in the country – and pollution is one such area which does need a quick solution," said Padmaja Ruparel, founding partner at the fund. "Our investment in Chakr Innovation demonstrates IAN’s focus on national imperatives and helping build high growth sustainable companies with an impact."

Deals in the segment

A number of companies are emerging that seek to address the issue of worsening air pollution in India.

A report last year by the World Health Organization said that India was home to nine of the world's 10 most polluted cities, including the national capital New Delhi, based on the amount of the PM2.5 particles in the air.

In January, Oizom Instruments, an internet of things (IoT) startup focussed on curbing pollution, raised seed funding from IIM Ahmedabad's Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship.

The following month, Nanoclean Global Pvt. Ltd, a nanotechnology startup which develops air filtration devices, raised $600,000 (Rs 4.2 crore) in a pre-Series A round of funding.

Investors

IAN Fund had announced its first close at Rs 175 crore (around $27 million) in April 2017. Earlier this year, it raised the targeted corpus and said it was looking to make the final close soon. 

The investments from the fund made public this year include cataloguing startup Flatpebble, local discovery platform Little Black Book and data analytics firm Clootrack.

Last year, the fund invested in waterless personal hygiene startup Clensta, fin-tech startup Propelld and farm-to-fork marketplace FarmersFZ.

IDFC Parampara Fund was floated in a partnership between IDFC Alternatives, the private equity arm of IDFC group, and venture capital firm Parampara Capital.

Its investments include conversational AI firm Magiclane and cybersecurity firm CloudSEK.

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