Alia Bhatt invests in Social Alpha backed D2C start-up that makes natural incense and bio-leather from floral waste Alia Bhatt has invested in D2C start-up



Backed by Social-Alpha- an initiative Supported
by Tata Trusts.


Phool.cois India’s first wellness brand to have both Fairfor Life- Fairtrade and EcOcert Organic &
Natural certifications. Phool has pioneered the flowereycling technologies to upcycle cellulose
waste and specializes in manufacturing charcoal-free incense and other wellness products.
Earlier, had raised US $ 2 Million in a seed round from IAN Fund, Social Alpha, Draper
Richards Kaplan Foundation (San Francisco), and IlIT Kanpur.
With Deep-tech research, the startup has successfully developed a commercially viable
alternative to Animal leather called “Fleather”

Asomkhobor Desk Guwahati October 8 :, a Social Alpha-backed D2C wellness startup, today announced that Alia
Bhatt is now an investor in the company.
Founded by UN Young Leader Awardee for Sustainable Development Goals, Ankit Agarwal in July 2017, is an innovative startup focused on the circular economy which converts floral waste into
Charcoal-free Luxury incense products and other wellness products. The startup is also India’s first
wellness brand to have Fair for Life- Fairtrade and Ecocert Organic & Natural certifications. With deep-
tech research, the startup has also developed “Eleathet” leveraging their fowercyclin8 technolog8y.
Fleather is a viable alternative to Animal leather which was recently awarded PETA’s best innovation in
the Vegan World. has rapidly expanded its operations and has consistently achieved 130% YoY growth for the past
two years. vision is backed by strong BoR efforts and is based on sustainable development goals
focused on creating a circular economy, promoting sustainable consumption, and bringing dignified
Speaking on the latest investment, Alia Bhatt, who is known for her environmental initiatives, said,
“Phool incense really stands out for its fine natural fragrances and amazing packaging. I admire the
founder’s vision of making incense and bio-leather from recycled flowers that contribute to keeping our
rivers clean, creating a humane alternative to leather and providing employment to women in India’s
heartland. I’m proud that these products are created in India and wowing the world and I’m thrilled to join
the investors who are backing the company.”
Earlier this year, Alia Bhatt had also invested in Nykaa, the omni-channel lifestyle retailer stating the three
reasons she chose the company were its Indian roots, its global scale and that it was founded by a woman.
Social Alpha had written the first Equity cheque & had invested in and nurtured the company, while it was
at the idea stage. Speaking on the latest development, Manoj Kumar, Founder & CEO, Social Alpha said,
“Ankit has truly demonstrated how passionate entrepreneurs can solve some of our most complex


problems with their disruptive innovations. The team has the rare combination of empathy, audacious
goals, extraordinary resilience and flawless execution to build and scale a sustainable business model. will only grow bigger with time”
Ankit Agarwal, Founder said “At we aim to drive systemic change through innovation.
Alia’s investment is a validation of our efforts and firmly sets us on a path to build a global success story
from a tier 3 city. The investment and support will help us expand our footprint globally and also step up
the pace of B0D,I can proudly say, Phool.cois a business built, led and now even invested in by women.”
IIT Kanpur has been the backbone for the company’s technical research Speaking on the latest
development, Dr. Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur said “IT Kanpur is proud to be a partner of
PHOOL.I am glad that we could help the company technologically but at the same time, I must
acknowledge that brought a lot of visibility to our incubator and the subsequent stupendous
success of SIIC is at least in part due to the success of PHOOL”
Speaking on the latest development, Padmaja Buparel, Founding Partner, IAN Fund said, “Innovative
solutions for the sustainable development of the community is the need of the hour. PhoolcoS circular
economy model brings triple bottom benefits of environmental, social, and financial sustainability. Ankit
is a passionate entrepreneur focused on a large market and value creation for both customers and his
For its endeavors to make innovative and sustainable products, has received several
international recognitions including the prestigious United Nations Young Leaders Award for Sustainable
Development Goals, United Nations Momentum of Change Award at COP, Asia Sustainability Award Hong
Kong, Alguity, Transforming Lives Awards, London and Breaking the Wall of Science, Berlin
Earlier, had raised US $ 2 Million in a seed round from IAN Fund, Social Alpha (FISE) and Draper
Richards Kaplan Foundation (San Francisco), and IIT Kanpur.
About IAN Fund: The IAN Fund, an INR 375 crore fund, is a uniquely differentiated seed/early stage Fund
which aims to transform India’s entrepreneurial landscape. The fund invests in innovative companies in
sectors including healthcare and medical devices, VR, Al, software as a service, marketplaces, fin-tech, big
data, artificial intelligence, agritech and hardware. The Fund leverages and builds upon the strengths and
success of IAN, the world’s largest angel investor group, to breed and grow innovative companies.
The fund has Institutional investors like SIDBI’s Fund of Funds for Startups, BIRAC’s ACE Fund, Kerala
Startup Mission, IIFL, Wadhwani Foundation, Max Group, Hyundai along with marquee individuals like Kris
GOpalakrishnan, Sunil Mupjal, Bajan Anandap, Kanwal Bekhi, Vikram Gandhi, Jerry Rao amongst many
others. This is the first in a series of Funds so that over the next 10 years, the IAN Platform would invest
Rs 5000 Cr in ~500 companies, making it the single largest platform for early stage investing
■About Social Alpha■
Social Alpha is a multistage innovation curation and venture development platform
for science and technology start-ups that address the most critical social, economic and environmental
challenges through the power of entrepreneurship and market-creating innovations. Since its inception
in 2016,Social Alpha has supported more 150 start-ups including 60+ seed investments. For more
■ please visit
■ Linkedin: SocialAlpha ■Twitter:@SocialAlphalN ■ Facebook: SocialAlpha ■Instagram: socialalpha_in
■ About ■
IIT Kanpur & its ecosystem for Startups: IT Kanpur’s TBI, Foundation for Innovation in Research,
Science and Technology (FIRST), is one of the best academic TBls in the country. It is primarily engaged in
hardware-based product development, a rare trait amongst the incubators of India.
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