Alia Bhatt, the actor known for her originality, spontaneity and powerhouse acting is also a smart investor. Her latest investment is Kanpur-based startup Phool. It is an IIT-Kanpur-backed startup that converts floral waste into incense products. Founded in 2017 by engineering graduate Ankit Agarwal, Phool enables the conversion of floral waste into charcoal-free luxury incense products. The environment-friendly brand has also received Fair for Life – Fairtrade and Ecocert Organic and Natural certifications.
Using its technology, the startup has launched what it calls ‘Fleather’, which is said to be an alternative to animal leather but made with flowers. Bhatt said that she admires Agarwal’s vision of making incense and bio-leather from recycled flowers. (Link: https://phool.co/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw-4SLBhCVARIsACrhWLU7xC7dhCPYMBTJWfKQOU9G5oVDX4mmjm64tXoXVwnO2uHvrUGSrSwaAiaJEALw_wcB)
She added that the startup’s efforts keep rivers clean and create a humane alternative to leather and providing employment to women in India’s heartland. Previously, Phool.co had moped up $2 million in its seed funding round from investors such as IAN Fund, Social Alpha (FISE), Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (San Francisco), and IIT Kanpur.
Alia’s entrepreneurial journey
Alia has also invested an undisclosed amount in omnichannel lifestyle retailer Nykaa, which is now planning to go public with an initial public offer (IPO). StyleCracker is also one of the early startups backed by the star actor. She had launched Ed A Mamma, a kidswear brand, in November 2020 to kick off her entrepreneurial journey.