Startup accelerator, Risers Accelerator has funded three start-ups — Cosmeto Food, Zeleno, and Playtoome — with a total investment of approx. Rs 11 Crore. Risers Accelerator is a conglomerate of 35 individuals based out of Delhi and has been aggressively promoting start-ups with good business potential.
Risers Accelerator supported Zeleno, a startup dealing in Reverse Vending machines, recently got a contract through Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) for Central Railways of 500 machines. Zeleno was started three years back by an ISB Hyderabad trio towards furthering the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Valued at Rs 50 crore, Zeleno has been successfully installing the machines in New Delhi and Lucknow. Piloting with these places, the company has already come up with a blueprint of places across India where the machines will be installed. Risers Accelerator hold 10 per cent equity in the company.
“Our focus is to accelerate the companies that have a noble cause attached to it along with the business part. With the latest order by the Indian Railways of 500 vending machines, Zeleno is on the right track and hopefully the target of reaching every metro city by the end of this financial year will be achieved. We believe that the initiative will stand as a main pillar in the success of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, a campaign by the Government of India,” says Pravin Khandelwal, Director, Leadership & Motivation, Risers Accelerator.
The idea is good as the business related to this sector is a growing one. In fact, studies put that in India around 90 percent of PET bottles are recycled — around 65 per cent at registered facilities, 15 per cent in the unorganized sector and 10% reused at homes. The model makes sense the rate of recycling of PET bottles is much higher than the rate in other countries such as Japan (72.1%), Europe (48.3%) and the US (31%).
Talking about the challenges a cause-based startup faces, Prateek Mittal, co-founder, Zeleno, said, “A new idea always faces apprehensions and these doubts increases if a cause is attached to the idea. People start talking about the viability of the project and ROI, etc. We are thankful that we have the support and backing of Risers Accelerator. The need of the hour is that the incubators and accelerators should come forward to support these startups that have the potential to safeguard the future of the earth. We do understand that business is important and all of these startups are here to do that.”
“With such a huge recycling industry at work in India, the scope of such start-ups is good. The industry employees around 4 million people and it is one of the best ways of income generation for various people including ragpickers and recyclers. We see a huge potential as the India’s waste management sector would be worth US$13.62 billion by 2025,”adds Mr. Rachit Chawla, Director, Finance & Technology, Risers Accelerator.
On the other hand Cosmeto Food Organic Pvt Ltd, a startup that provides taste-able authentic Ayurvedic organic handmade skin care products, was started 2 years back by Mr. Himanshu Chadha, founder, Cosmeto Food Organic Pvt Ltd Valued at Rs 20 crore, Cosmeto has been successfully operating pan India and is exporting to about 35 countries. Risers Accelerator has funded Rs 2 crores for product distribution and it holds 10 percent equity in the company. Due to increasing focus on personal care, the market for natural and organic cosmetics market is thriving. As per the report by Market Research Future (MRFR), the global natural and organic cosmetics market is predicted to touch USD 25,100 million by 2023.
“Our products are proudly free of paraben, animal by-products, silicon, mineral oils, toxins, alcohol and other harsh cosmetic chemicals which are safe to be tasted as well. Since they are made of almost 100% natural ingredients, you might mistake them as natural food because of their appearance and texture. And yes, they are all taste-able,” says Chadha, founder, Cosmeto Food Organic Pvt Ltd.
The products by the company are made from ECOCERT Certified organic ingredients with tested and authenticated proven formulations.”Our products are based on our years of expertise. These offerings bring immense beautifying and healing effects on skin and keep it glowing without any side effects,” adds Chadha.
The third company in which Risers Accelarator has invested in is Playtoome — a company that is into technology-enabled live performance, entertainment and consumer engagement platform. The company is targeting to be USD 50 million business and 5 million unique customers in the next three years. Playtoome will get next round of funding from Risers of Undisclosed amount. Playtoome’s model involves enlisting music enthusiasts on its platform and based on their requests and preferences and the whole experience in interactive manner. The online portal is two-year old and has a customer base of 50,000 and has 3500 artists. The customers can view the concerts on his/her mobile, tablet, laptop, PC or even on a smart TV. On the other hand, it takes off the pain of paying a hefty fee for listening to live concert and to be physically present there.
“Playtoome was launched with a singular vision – to transform the live entertainment space by connecting audiences with their favorite artists through technology and enabling more interactive and immersive live entertainment experiences. T
he investment will give a big boost to that vision. This association provides us with the capital infusion necessary to scale our operations and also unlocks access to key mentorship and networking opportunities critical to the growth of any emerging start-up,” S Keerthivasan, Founder and CEO of Playtoome said.
Riser Accelerator is also in talks with ‘Just Happy’ as well, which is in the retail segment of household gifts stationery.