Source: Business Standard: June 02, 2015
Ahmedabad:The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) run sustainability and cleantech fund Infuse Ventures has invested Rs 3.5 crore in Chennai-based Proklean Technologies Private Limited.Backed by Government of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Technology Development Board, IFC, BP, SIDBI, Godrej Industries, ICICI Bank, Bank of India and Union Bank, Infuse Ventures has made the investment for an undisclosed stake.Founded by Dr. Sivaram Pillai, B. Chandrasekhar and Vishwadeep Kuila, Proklean manufactures natural products of probiotic origin, which can replace or reduce use of currently used chemicals in various industrial and commercial applications like leather processing, textile processing and household cleaning. Sold under the brand name of ‘Proviera’, Proklean uses a unique probiotic technology which makes the products 100% bio-degradable, natural and non-toxic.
“Proklean has developed a unique technology platform with wide-ranging applications across industries and even in the consumer space. Environmental concerns from industrial effluents are on the rise and we have seen very few innovative solutions and products to solve this problem. Proklean’s range of products address this major pain point for many industries today,” Kunal Upadhyay, CEO, Infuse Ventures.
The company has already developed a suite of products for customers in the textile and leather processing industries with marquee names in India like Vardhaman Group, Raymond, Mafatlal, Welspun, RSWM, Kapoor Industries, JK Mills, AVT, Super House and Upper India. Internationally, Proklean has customers in U.S.A., Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Turkey, Thailand, China, Philippines, Australia and Bangladesh.
Former CEO of SCD Probiotics, USA, and head of the bio-products business at the Murugappa Group, India, prior to founding Proklean, Dr. Pillai said, “What differentiates our technology from most green technologies is that we do not require any subsidy, either from the government or the customer. In fact, our products are cost and performance competitive compared to traditional chemical products in every application that we serve. Our products save water, processing time and in some cases even energy. This is besides being completely biodegradable.”
Apparently, B. Chandrasekhar and Vishwadeep Kuila, both alumni of IIM Ahmedabad, come with rich experience in the consumer products and branding space.
Proklean had earlier raised an angel round from Chennai Angels, few of their IIMA batchmates and SCD Probiotics, USA.
Meanwhile, on its part, IIMA-CIIE’s fund Infuse has been investing actively in the cleantech sector and its investments include energy-management startup Ecolibrium Energy, thermal-energy storage startup Tessol, renewable energy services startup REConnect, solar-pumping startup Surya PowerMagic and geothermal HVAC provider GIBSS, among others.