Direct-to-consumer (D2C) home fragrance and wellness brand Phool. Co has raised $8 million in a new round from consumer-focused venture fund Sixth Sense Ventures. The round also saw participation from existing investors, Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt and the IAN Fund, a statement issued by the company said. Phool. Co has previously raised seed rounds from IAN Fund, Social Alpha (FISE), Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (San Francisco), and IIT Kanpur.
With this fundraise, Phool plans to scale operations further, explore untapped domestic and global growth opportunities and build India’s largest fragrance brand. Furthermore, it will also rapidly scale R&D efforts to make animal leather obsolete with Fleather, the revolutionary vegan alternative to animal leather.
The brand has successfully captured the fascination of consumers looking for superior home-fragrance options and made incense a part of their daily wellness routines. With a DNA driven by transformative innovation and deep R&D, this IIT-backed startup has also put India on the global innovation map with their path-breaking invention, Fleather – ‘leather made from flowers’. With a solid IP portfolio in its kitty, Phool has signed pilots with some of the world’s largest fashion houses. Awarded the Best Innovation in Vegan Fashion by PETA, Fleather is the answer to one of the world’s highest polluting industries.
Speaking on the funding, Founder Ankit Agarwal said, “In a short time, our modest efforts have managed to create a dent in the Indian fragrance industry. Phool as a brand today is synonymous with luxury fragrance products on account of our unwavering focus on superior product experience and honest ingredients. We plan to transform the global home fragrance market and build a distinct brand with our product range. We have already made strong inroads in the rapidly growing Indian market that has been starved for good quality products. The Sixth Sense investment is a testament to our vision to build a global fragrance brand from India. I believe Nikhil’s acumen and knack for unlocking opportunities will fuel our growth story in the years to come. ”
Speaking on the latest investment, Alia Bhatt, who is known for her environmental initiatives, said, “Phool incense is now my chosen gift for most special occasions. The natural fragrances and packaging are exquisite. Less chemical and floral waste means cleaner rivers, so these products are also a gift to our planet. I believe Phool will be an important global aromatherapy story to emerge from India. And the company’s plant-based leather will also be a more humane choice for the world’s top luxury brands. As a Phool customer and as an investor, I’m putting my money where my belief is.”
Alia Bhatt’s other business interests include an investment in beauty platform Nykaa and closet sharing initiative MiSu, which deals with celebrities putting personal clothing for sale, which goes to charity.
Phool. Co has transformed how Indian consumers look at home fragrances with their award-winning incense of temple flowers. Reigniting India’s $3.2 billion home fragrance category, Phool has turned the jaded incense category into an experiential lifestyle. According to the company, it has recycled 11,060 metric tonnes of temple waste. The startup has recently been split into the companies HelpUsGreen and Phool.
For its endeavors to make innovative and sustainable products, Phool. Co 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, Alquity Transforming Lives Awards, London, and Breaking the Wall of Science, Berlin.
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