Powai Valley is becoming the testing ground for B2C start-ups, with a host of IIT-Bombay alumni launching mobile-based services here. The likes of Housing, TinyOwl, HandyHome and many more have come from the same breeding ground and investors are smiling upon the area as well. In pursuit of instant gratification of another kind from the aforementioned ventures, a company that plans to instantly take care of the waste that is generated has launched here. Meet Scrapcrow, an online platform for disposing one’s scrap in a convenient and transparent manner.
“We aim to be one’s steady companion in recycling scrap, at the best price, at one’s doorstep,” reads a pitch mail from Rajat Sharma, one of the co-founders of Scrapcrow. The pitch goes, “With a strong technological impetus, the brand aims at making scrap collection and the disposal process dynamic and fair, to increase people’s contribution in making this earth a better place to live.” The idea is noble, and in the first month of the pilot in Powai, the company received 70 requests.
Along with Rajat, there are three others, each of them with two years of corporate experience. Devesh Verma has worked with Trimble Navigations and is the co-founder at Terra Wizard Mapping Solutions, Ihtisham Khan is a Manager at ICICI Lombard, and Pranav Kumar is a software engineer at Cisco. The team is currently raising a seed round and is in the process of jumping in completely.
At its core, Scrapcrow is an initiative that aims to solve the common man’s problems related to scrap disposal. The aim is to promote the Go Green initiative, and instill recycling as an essential and not cumbersome process in the minds of people. “Even in today’s technologically advanced mobile age, there is no formal booking system for collection of scrap, and one has to depend on his neighborhood scrap dealer for collection. This breeds monopoly and unfair practices,” says Rajat. The team has built an online platform for booking, which gives a customer the flexibility to call a scrap dealer at their convenience. They will soon be launching a mobile application as well. The scope of operation is not just limited to collection. Scrapcrow ensures that the scrap collected by their on-board scrap dealers is recycled. “We give the collected scrap directly to the recycling plants and dealers, thereby disposing of the long chain of middlemen,” says Rajat.
They will soon kick off tie-ups with corporate and retail houses, to help them recycle all types of waste, ranging from paper to e-waste. They also plan to provide a shredding and data sanitization facility for the companies. Currently, Scrapcrow has five scrap dealers on board, and plans to get 10 more on board, to cater to Powai and the adjoining areas. “We ensure that these dealers work in a professional manner, by providing them basic training on communication and fair practice,” says Rajat. Current bookings have come from students, professionals, institutions and retail shops.
There have been many such efforts previously, such as TheKabadiwala from Bhopal, Paperman, etc and they have all been doing good work in their respective areas. Scrapcrow will come in as a venture doing the same thing at a larger scale, and there will be a focus on profitability (their pedigree will be an advantage in receiving investments). When it comes to clean energy and recycling, Attero is probably the biggest success story from India, and it is about time we Indians build many more such companies.