Impact investors Aavishkaar, Asha invest $6.5m in waste management firm Nepra

Photo: Reuters

Aavishkaar, part of the impact investing-focused Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, along with Asha Impact on Monday announced an investment of $6.5 million (Rs. 44 crore) as part of the Series-B round of funding raised by Nepra Resource Management Pvt Ltd.

Nepra, an Ahmedabad-based waste aggregation and processing company that operates under the ‘Let’s Recycle’ brand, will use the proceeds to extend its geographical presence to new cities, the company said in a statement. It currently has a capacity of processing 100 tonne of waste per day in Ahmedabad.

“Our aim is to establish “Let’s Recycle – NEPRA” as the leader and the “go-to” company for large-scale dry waste management. We have seen impressive growth in Ahmedabad and this new round of funding from Aavishkaar and Asha Impact will help us expand our operations to three more cities and help us to build the foundation for expansion across the country over the next five years,” said Sandeep Patel, CEO, NEPRA.

India generates over 1 lakh metric tonne solid waste every day, said the statement quoting data from the ministry of science and technology. The sector has been plagued with poor segregation practices, which result in overfilling of landfills and loss of valuable recyclable waste including paper, plastic, cardboard and glass, it added.

With initiatives such as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, regulatory push on solid waste management regulations and extended producer responsibility, there is large demand for organised waste management enterprises who can process at scale and provide reliable waste management services, the company said.

Nepra claims to have been working towards addressing these challenges since 2013 and has built an organized dry waste supply chain that connects waste generators and collectors to recyclers while integrating over 1,800 waste pickers into the formal economy.

“Nepra exemplifies the core investment philosophy of Aavishkaar where scale, sustainability and impact go hand in hand. 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.

Founded in 2002, Aavishkaar has made more than 58 equity investments across sectors and geographies including South Asia, and has raised six funds delivering commercial returns with close to $300 million assets under management. It is now considering launching its seventh fund in Africa.

Asha Impact is an impact investment and policy advocacy platform set up in 2014 by Vikram Gandhi, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and senior advisor at CPPIB, and Pramod Bhasin, the former chief executive of BPO major Genpact. The Asha Circle claims to have deployed $10 million in 10 social enterprises and impacted over seven million lives.

In November 2017, Aavishkaar raised $95 million in the first close of its $200 million Aavishkaar Bharat Fund, the firm’s sixth fund. It announced an investment of about $5.4 million in Kottaram Agro Foods, a Bangalore-based packaged foods startup that markets its products under the brand ‘Soulfull’ in March this year.

Also Read:

India: Impact investor Menterra invests  in FarmFolks

Belgian impact investor Incofin plans $80m India-focused fund: Report