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Waste management firm Nepra raises Series B funding from Aavishkaar, Asha Impact
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Nepra Resource Management Pvt. Ltd, a waste management company that operates under the ‘Let’s Recycle’ brand, has raised Rs 44 crore ($6.5 million) in its Series B round of funding.

The funds were raised from existing impact investor Aavishkaar and new impact investor Asha Impact, Nepra said in a statement.

The funding will help Ahmedabad-based Nepra Resource expand to three more cities and help build the foundation for expansion across the country over the next five years, CEO Sandeep Patel said.

Nepra was founded by Sandeep Patel, Dhrumin Patel and Ravi Patel in 2011. It has built a supply chain that connects dry-waste generators and collectors to recyclers, integrating about 1,800 waste-pickers into the formal economy. It has a capacity of processing 100 tonnes of waste a day in Ahmedabad.

The company had raised its first external funding of $2.5 million from Aavishkaar in January 2013.

“We built a thesis around an investment in waste management, backed the founders of Nepra at a very nascent stage and have been continuously investing in this company since 2013,” said Anurag Agrawal, partner, Aavishkaar Venture Management Services.

India generates more than one lakh metric tonnes of solid waste every day. Demand for organised waste management enterprises in the country is growing thanks to the government initiative such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and regulatory push on solid waste management regulations, the statement said.

In a significant development in the segment, private equity giant KKR is looking to acquire a 60% stake in Hyderabad-based waste management company Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd for around $600 million (Rs 4,000 crore), The Economic Times reported earlier this month.

Ramky is backed by Standard Chartered PE, IL&FS Asia Infrastructure Growth Fund and IL&FS PE.

Investors

Aavishkaar, part of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap group, helps entrepreneurs via equity funding, venture debt, microfinance, investment banking intermediation, consulting, research and access to global networks. It focuses on India’s rural areas and bottom-of-the-pyramid segment.

It has made at least 58 investments across sectors and regions, and has raised six funds since 2002. In November last year, Aavishkaar Venture hit the first close of its Aavishkaar Bharat Fund at Rs 594 crore. The fund said it had received confirmed commitments that would take it close to Rs 620 crore.

Asha Impact was founded by Vikram Gandhi, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and senior adviser at Canadian pension fund CPPIB, and Pramod Bhasin, former chief executive officer of IT services major Genpact, in 2014.

The fund represents a clutch of high-net-worth investors who directly make investments under its banner. However, Gandhi and Bhasin have made almost all the investments under it till date, it is learnt.

Earlier this year, Gandhi and Bhasin struck a multi-bagger exit from Bengaluru-based school finance company Thirumeni Finance Pvt. Ltd, which operates under the Varthana brand.

The duo had invested Rs 1.9 crore each in 2015 in Varthana as part of its Series A round of investment. They exited after PE firm ChrysCapital led a $55 million Series C round of funding for the school finance company.

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