Infuse Ventures, an early-stage investment firm associated with IIM Ahmedabad’s tech incubator CIIE (Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship), has invested Rs 3.5 crore ($549.5K) in Chennai-based Proklean Technologies Pvt Ltd, the company said.
Founded in 2009 by Sivaram Pillai, B Chandrasekhar and Vishwadeep Kuila, Proklean manufactures chemical replacement products for industries like leather processing, textile processing and hospitality under the brand name Proviera. It uses probiotic technology which can replace or reduce the use of currently used chemicals in products like leather processing, textile processing and household cleaning.
Pillai, who has almost three decades of experience across several industries, had been CEO of SCD Probiotics, the US, before founding this venture. Chandrasekhar and Kuila are IIM Ahmedabad alumni. While Chandrasekhar has worked with companies like Chennai Petroleum
Corporation and Hindustan Unilever, Kuila associated with BBDO, Lintas, Mudra Communications and Reynolds in the past.
The firm's customers include Vardhaman Group, Raymond, Mafatlal, Welspun, RSWM, Kapoor Industries, JK Mills, AVT and Super House. It has clients in the US, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Turkey, Thailand, China, Philippines and Australia.
"Our products are cost and performance competitive compared with traditional chemical products in every application that we serve. Our products save water, processing time and in some cases even energy. This is besides being completely biodegradable," said Pillai.
Proklean had earlier raised an angel round of funding from Chennai Angels, IIMA batchmates of the founders and SCD Probiotics, the US.
“Environmental concerns from industrial effluents are on the rise and we have seen a few innovative solutions and products to solve this problem. Proklean’s products address this pain point for many industries," said Kunal Upadhyay, CEO, Infuse Ventures.
Infuse Ventures is backed by IIM Ahmedabad's CIIE, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Technology Development Board, IFC, BP, Godrej Industries, ICICI Bank, SIDBI, Bank of India and Union Bank. It supports seed- and early-stage enterprises developing new business models across the renewable energy, resource efficiency, waste, water and other sustainability-related areas.
In the energy sector, it has made a number of investments including companies like energy management solution firm Ecolibrium Energy, thermal-energy storage startup Tessol, renewable energy services startup REConnect, solar-pumping startup Surya PowerMagic and geothermal HVAC provider GIBSS.