The company is set for a massive scaling project this year by offering a recycling technology that produces higher quality plastic pellets
Many startup Founders say being focussed on solving the problem is the ultimate key to success.
Today, Hyderabad-based recycling startup Banyan Nation announced it raised a US$800,000 round to tackle one of the most paramount problems of our time: environmental degradation.
US-based hedge fund Artha Capital Management committed the capital thanks to a major advising role by global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR). KKR did not put up their own capital but rather facilitated the fundraising.
“The consequences of our collective inaction seem negligible now, but over time will be devastating to the environment. We must each do our bit to stem the tide. Banyan, by laying the foundation for a formal recycling system, is doing just that,” said Jaideep Khanna, Co-founder, President and Managing Partner at Artha Capital.
Social enterprise platform Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX) and Singaporean non-profit Shujog also participated in facilitating the investment.
The move is meant to scale the startup to be better positioned for third party investment.
Mani Vajipey, Founder and CEO of Banyan said in an official statement:
“The informal nature of the recycling value chain makes it almost impossible for Indian brands to use recycled plastic for their product and packaging needs.”
“Our goal is to become a trustworthy and responsible recycling partner which offers recycled plastic at consistent quality, volume and prices through technology innovations, scientific rigor and ethical business practices,” he added.
Banyan Nation is focussed on plastics and offers free, on-demand and recurable recycling pickup for SMEs, townships and apartment complexes. It also has integrated common startup strategies like a reward program, backend analytics and performance indicators.
What Banyan Nation offers over the competition is a strong technology to substitute virgin plastic — as in newly created plastic — with recyclables. Its recycled plastic pellets are of a higher quality, last longer and can be reprocessed into better products.
Much of India’s plastic recycling industry is informal, which means the product is of lower quality and not attractive for reuse in the business world. Plus, it is not healthy for workers who are surrounded by plastic particles daily. Banyan Nation hopes to solve these problems.
The company is hoping to process 1,380 tons of plastic waste in fiscal year 2016. Banyan says by processing this amount of plastic, it will decrease the creation of virgin plastic by 2,760 tons during the same period. In fiscal year 2015, Banyan processed 180 tons of plastic, so the goal for this year represents a significant scaling.
KKR is a Wall Street giant and has recently set an in-house goal of becoming a more socially responsible investment firm.
IIX is an agency designed to allow greater access to capital for companies with a socially driven mission.
Shujong is a Singapore-based nonprofit that tries to bolster the standing companies that help marginalised populations and promote environmental protection.
“IIX, Shujog and KKR were instrumental in helping us realize the true economic and social impact Banyan can have on the recycling industry. Their involvement went beyond advice and raising capital – they truly helped build a sustainable business that can solve India’s plastic recycling woes,” said Vajipey.
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