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Phool.co
Phool.co founders Prateek Kumar (left) and Ankit Agarwal

Phool.co, which uses floral waste to make patented organic fertiliser and incense sticks, said it has raised $1.4 million (Rs 10.3 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round.

The round was led by Indian Angel Network's IAN Fund and existing investor Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, according to a press statement. 

Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation is a San Francisco-based global venture philanthropy firm supporting early stage, high-impact social enterprises. 

Phool.co, which is operated by Kanpur FlowerCycling Pvt. Ltd,

was founded by Ankit Agarwal and Prateek Kumar in July 2017. 

The startup says it focuses on the circular economy which converts the floral waste, largely collected from temples, into charcoal-free luxury incense products. It adds it has developed ‘fleather’, an alternative to animal leather, using its flower-recycling technology.

The Kanpur-based company has expanded its operations to Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.

Agarwal said the startup aims to build natural alternatives to synthetic chemical-based products by using deep-tech and research.

Phool.co had previously raised Rs 3.38 crore in a seed round from entities such as IIT-Kanpur’s tech business incubator, Foundation for Innovation in Research, Science and Technology (FIRST), incubation centre Social Alpha's Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, and Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation.

IAN Fund

Indian Angel Network, which was founded in 2006, has been one of the prominent investors in India's startup ecosystem. It has over 120 portfolio companies across seven countries.

The angel network later launched its own fund. It marked the final close of its maiden IAN Fund in November last year at Rs 375 crore, surpassing its targeted corpus.

The fund, which is largely sector-agnostic, focuses on healthcare and medical devices, software-as-a-service (SaaS), marketplaces, fintech, Big Data, artificial intelligence and hardware.

The fund's investments include B2B e-commerce and supply chain platform MaxWholesale, air pollution control firm Chakr, waterless solar panel cleaning startup Nocca Robotics, cataloguing startup Flatpebble, local discovery and e-commerce platform Little Black Book and data analytics firm Clootrack.

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