Kabadiexpress, a startup which collects scrap from homes and sells it to recycling plants, announced raising Rs 1 crore in funding, on Wednesday from an undisclosed investor in Delhi. The firm will use the funds for geographical expansion, opening its services to other areas of NCR including Noida, Ghaziabad and adjoining areas.
Started in May 2015, Kabadiexpress connects with housing societies and distributes a bag to each household which can pack up to 15 kg of waste paper. On the bag being full, customers can call the firm and request for a pickup. To maintain transparency, the firm uses digital scale and even sends a receipt of the collection, to the user.
Further, recycling in India seems to be a major point of concern. Only 20 percent of waste paper in India is actually recycled with the bulk of 80 percent used for “Indian” lifestyle aspects like wrapping, packing, etc., which eventually ends up into dumping grounds.
Speaking on the same, Kapil Bajaj, co-founder, Kabadiexpress told YourStory in an earlier interview said,
With the current state of recycling, for making new paper we need to cut the trees in big numbers or import waste paper from other countries. A single household in India wastes close to 100 kg of paper every year. This made us feel we must educate people to not waste papers and in turn do our bit in saving the trees.
Sandeep Sethi is the other co-founder of the venture. Explaining the business model, the founders say that on collecting the paper from customers, it is directly sent to the mills. For every ten rupees the firm pays the customer for a kilogram of waste paper, the recycling mill gives Kabadiexpress Rs 13.50 in exchange. However, their other sources of revenue include charging brands for advertising on bags, which gives visibility to other entities. The company claims to have 2,000 customers at present.
With the current round of funding, Kapil states that the firm will be also be launching their new application and website soon.
Further, the firm Kabadiexpress is run by Green Warriors India Pvt. Ltd which collects other scrap items such as furniture, electronic products, as well as metal products. In a similar fashion, this scrap is picked up from customer’s doorsteps and sent to recycling plants.
The startup also refurbishes certain furniture items that are in relatively better condition and sells them on its website as well as marketplaces such as OLX and Quikr. It also states to be coming up with its own marketplace to sell these refurbished goods and products.
The company’s warehouses are located in East Delhi , Noida and Ghaziabad.
Why is it important now?
According to the Central Pollution Control Board and Centre for Science and Environment, almost 4.7 million tonnes of garbage is generated daily of which 0.14 million tonnes is contributed by India.
In 2015, it was reported that of the total Municipal Solid Waste generated in India daily, only 1,17,645 tonnes per day was collected (which is 83 percent). But of the total collection, only 33, 665 tonnes per day or 29 percent of the total solid waste was treated. This seems to be an alarming number.
Taking a microscopic view at Delhi, in 2015, 85 percent of the sanitation budget went into just transporting garbage. Further, three of the four landfills in Delhi are overdue for closure with reports stating that existing waste dhalaos (waste collection bin) will overflow by 2021.
There are other startups in the recycling space as well, including names such as Attero Recycling, which mines precious metals from e-waste. It had raised Rs. 100 crore in 2014. Another firm was Karma Recycling, which raised an undisclosed sum during its Series A in July last year. It buys old gadgets from Tier 1 cities and sells it in Tier 2 cities. There is also Encashea.com in Bengaluru, Junkart, Bhopal based Kabadiwala and PomPom amongst others.
Tarush is driven towards delivering unbiased and accurate reportage while engaging with as many mediums as possible to narrate a fresh perspective. Working for the past few years in the digital space with YourStory, he has covered the Indian technology ecosystem extensively, focusing on new age Fintech companies, while building strong connects within the industry.