Home >companies >Karma Recycling gets Series A funds

Mumbai: New Delhi-based Karma Recycling Pvt. Ltd on Monday said it had raised its first round of funding from two entities. The amount of investment was not disclosed.

Infuse Ventures, a clean technology-focused fund backed by Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), and Low Carbon Enterprise Fund, backed by Environmental Resources Management—which invests in low carbon businesses—took part in the Series A funding round.

In 2013, Karma had raised an early-stage round of funding. With this round, it has raised a total of $500,000 since its inception, said Aamir Jariwala, firm’s co-founder, over the phone.

Karma Recycling buys old electronics goods such as mobile phones and laptops from customers for recycling. Founded in 2013 by Aamir Jariwala and Akshat Ghiya, it is looking to utilize the funds to develop its technology and expand its consumer and retailer operations across the country. It currently provides its services across 24 cities.

“The market for used goods and particularly electronics is growing exponentially and there is immense scope to bring many of these back into use. Karma’s strong understanding of the space combined with the efficient back-end processes and logistical capabilities they have built, gives the company a great starting point to address this market opportunity," said Amber Maheshwari, vice-president with Infuse Ventures.

Firms operating in the space of e-waste are growing. Manak Waste Management Pvt. Ltd that owns ReGlobe, another electronics goods exchange firm, raised early stage funding from Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) and Blume Ventures in April. Others engaged in e-waste recycling include Attero Recycling Pvt. Ltd that raised $16.5 million (about 100 crore) in 2014 and Eco Recycling.

The value of Indian electronics output is estimated at $104 billion by 2020, says a report by Eco Recycling. The e-waste industry in India is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 30.6% during 2014-19.

“With brand-new mobile devices sales exploding nearly 200% over the past three years, the development of technologies and services for buyback and exchange-related services solves a big, urgent and valuable problem for consumers, retailers and manufacturers of consumer electronics", said Jariwala.

Karma offers pickup-and-cash services for over 3,000 models of smartphones, tablets, and laptops in any physical condition. Customers can enter the details of the product they wish to sell such as number of years of use and possible defects in a step-by-step process and get a value for it. The devices, repaired and refurbished by the firm after deleting data, are then re-distributed, with warranty, via Karma’s network of dealers across seven tier-IV cities where there is demand for branded goods but not at the initial price point. The company says it has recycled over 16,000 smartphones, tablets and laptops so far.

Karma has also tied up with large retail chains such as Bharti Retail, Apple-authorized stores, Future Group and Sangeetha Mobiles for in-store exchanges, buy-backs, and reverse logistics.

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