Waste management firm Nepra secures $18 mn funding support

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on November 13, 2020

Aavishkaar Capital and Singapore's Circulate Capital provide Series C funding

Driven by the Centre's cleanliness push under Swachh Bharat Mission, waste recycling companies are catching up the fancy of investors. In a latest and one of the largest fund-raising recently, Ahmedabad-headquartered waste management and recycling player Nepra Resource Management Pvt Ltd (also known as Let's Recycle) has secured $18 million (approx Rs 134 crore) in Series C funding from Aavishkaar Capital and Singapore's Circulate Capital.

Nepra engaged over 1,700 waste pickers and collectors to process solid waste of over 500 tonnes per day in cities of Ahmedabad, Indore and Pune.

The company looks to utilise the funds to further expand its geographic presence and scale up the operations. Nepra engages with the communities involved in the entire waste chain and created economic returns.

Commenting on the investment, Aavishkaar Capital's Anurag Agrawal informed that the investment was primarily aimed at tackling the problem of waste and managing it by getting economic returns while solving it.

Aavishkaar, which provides funding support to companies scaling up businesses for social and environmental impact, has a total fund size of Rs 800 crore - equally distributed between three sectors, financial services, agri and allied services and essential services such as waste management.

“The success of Nepra's model has led us to regularly invest across all their rounds and partner them in their journey to take their unique solid waste management solutions pan-India. We are also in the process to raise next fund, in the essential services - as the current fund is fully deployed and we could look at some more investments in Nepra from that fund as well," added Agrawal. Global Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and Domestic institutional investors besides retail provide funds for Aavishkar.

Commenting on the business model, Sandeep Patel, Co-founder of Nepra informed that the company ensures sustained revenue stream by efficient waste collection and recycling with better recovery rate. “The focus of our business is to create raw material from recyclable waste. We focus on dry waste, paper and plastic, which is a significant part of our revenue. We get multiple commodities out of recycling so we have a spread out revenue stream from multiple commodities," informed Patel adding that in the next five years company looks to cover 25 cities for waste recycling.

From its investments in Nepra, Singapore's Circulate Capital is looking at a market rate of returns. Rob Kaplan, CEO, Circulate Capital told Businessline, ""India is at a transformational point in the waste recycling and waste management. The challenges have become clear and more pronounced in terms of fragmentation and difficulties. Overall, this sector has been severely under-invested over the past decade. We see as unique opportunity now to invest in companies like Nepra that can bring new technology and scale.

Published on November 13, 2020

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