Sanitary pad recycler PadCare Labs has raised seed funding of $605,891 (around Rs 5 crore) led by Social Alpha, with participation from Lavni Ventures, 3i partners, Rainmatter and Spectrum Impact.
The Pune-based startup will deploy the fresh proceeds for product and research development as well as to expand its geographical footprint.
Founded by Ajinkya Dhariya in 2018, PadCare leverages technology to dispose of used pads and generate recyclable output from them. The recycled output is used to make paper and plastic-based objects. Besides, the startup also offers pad vending machines to boost accessibility to menstrual products.
"Our special sanitary pad disposal bins and vending machines are serving one million menstruators in the country. We have set up two sanitary waste material recovery centres now and aim to commission six more by FY23,” said Dhariya.
“Padcare Labs is addressing forward and backward linkages related to menstrual waste management and enabling a circular economy. Their proprietary technology to recycle used pads is an innovation that can disrupt the market and have a social and environmental impact in the coming years,” said Smita Rakesh, vice president and partner, Social Alpha.
Bengaluru-based Social Alpha is a venture development platform for science and technology startups. Last year, the firm participated in the Rs 1.75 crore seed funding round of Delhi-based electric vehicle startup Accelero Vehicles. The fundraise also saw participation from LetsVenture.
Prior to that, Social Alpha was a part of the Rs 1 crore pre-seed funding of the direct-to-consumer (D2C) footwear brand Desi Hangover. CIIE.co and Be An Angel Network also participated in the round.