Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N or I-cube-N) has announced closure of its twelfth deal with an investment of ~INR 10 million in Mumbai-based waste management company Sampurn(e)arth in syndication with Zurich-based family office Rianta Capital and Primarc Group Director Siddharth Pansari of ah! Ventures. I3N investors include Nirmal Bhogilal, Chairman of Batliboi, Ajay Dalmia, founder CEO of Drive Change, Nilesh Gandhi, advisor at Waaree Energies, Yogesh Chaudhary, Director at Jaipur Rugs, Ajay Parekh, Director at Pidilite, and Apoorva Patni, Director at Patni Healthcare. Rianta Capital’s investment comes as a result of the Artha Venture Challenge, a national program that supports ambitious social ventures by providing access to finance, business support and powerful connections to help them scale their enterprises. Sampurn(e)arth was a finalist at the 2013-14 Artha Venture Challenge.
Led by three co-founders – Debartha Banerjee, Jayanth Nataraju, and Ritvik Rao – who met while studying at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Sampurn(e)arth provides end-to-end decentralized and customized waste management solutions including, dry waste collection and processing, biogas plant installation, composting, O&M and consulting services. This is also followed by value added services such as waste audits, impact assessment and reporting. Sampurn(e)arth works closely with the non-profit waste picker organization Stree Mukti Sanghatana and actively incorporates waste pickers into the process, thereby up-skilling them and increasing incomes. The company was incubated at the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at TISS, Mumbai and had early support from Unltd India. The company has won several awards including the Al Gore Sustainable Technology Venture Competition (India), the Global Social Venture Competition, and grants from Development Bank of Singapore. Sampurn(e)arth was also featured in Aamir Khan’s show Satyamev Jayate in an episode titled “Don’t Waste Your Garbage”.
The deal was led by I3N investors Ajay Dalmia and Nirmal Bhogilal. Ajay Dalmia said, “The current method of dumping waste into landfills leads to several environmental and societal problems that not only adversely affect the health of people but also fail to recognize the inherent value in the waste. Sampurn(e)arth is bringing in an effective decentralized asset light business model that is environmentally sustainable, generates employment and is profitable. This is an execution intensive model and we have full faith in the promoters' passion for the cause and ability to deliver.”
Sampurn(e)arth’s clientele includes municipal bodies, corporate parks educational campuses and residential units. Nirmal Bhogilal added, “If waste is processed at source, it can not only give immense environmental benefit, but also economic benefit to the waste generators as well as Municipal bodies. For example, the college cafeteria at TISS has a biogas plant set up by Sampurn(e)arth. The food waste from the cafeteria is fed into the biogas plant, which in turn produces about 1 cylinder of LPG gas daily for the cafeteria to run. This is a great incentive especially for small commercial and residential complexes. With CSR mandates kicking in, there is increasing interest from large corporates too.”
Sharing stats on the scale of the problem, co-founder Jayanth Nataraju said, “In Mumbai alone, about 10,000 tonnes of waste is generated daily, so there is a huge opportunity for intervention. With initiation of the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, there is an increased interest in our solutions and we are seeing tremendous support from stakeholders across the value chain. We are confident that with the guidance of investors on scaling the business, we will be able to move the needle on this vast challenge.”
Audrey Selian, Director, Artha Initiative of Rianta Capital Zurich, added, “We are excited by the potential of this idea with an issue that not too many people are tackling. The opportunity to support a strong team and offering like Sampurn(e)arth is not only a great learning curve for us, but a move that we hope will raise the bar across the board for all motivated entrepreneurs committed to impact and scale.”
Intellecap has taken equity in Sampurn(e)arth demonstrating its long term commitment to portfolio companies. Aditi Shrivastava, I3N advisor confirmed, “Unhygienic roads, open sewers, disease-spreading insects – these are problems that affect us every day regardless of social or economic status. The impact potential is huge, and Sampurn(e)arth is one of the few companies that is closely tracking their social and environmental impact in addition to keeping an eye on the financial bottom-line. We are excited to be one of their early partners, and look forward to helping them scale-up.”
I3N recently invested crowdfunding platform Ketto.org and positive journalism company TheBetterIndia.com, where Intellecap also took an equity stake. Other recent deals in the waste management sector include Infuse Venture’s investment in Revive E-Waste, Aavishkaar’s investment in Nepra Resource Management and Ankur Capital’s investment in Bangalore-based Daily Dump. Indian Angel Network also announced funding into non-profit Saahas.