The Ahmedabad-based robotic startup, Ishitva has raised a Pre-Series A round of over $1mn led by Inflection Point Ventures, one of India’s largest angel investment platforms. The funds raised will be utilised in growing sales and expanding the R&D team.
Ishitva uses AI, ML, IoT Industry 4.0 to build efficient solutions which help in sorting complex waste. Effective sorting of waste is currently the weakest link in creating a circular value chain. Therefore, to avoid dumping and burning of dry waste, which leads to serious environmental hazards, the company focuses on leveraging industry 4.0 tools to systematically sort out waste and assess the quality of recyclable waste.
Mitesh Shah, Co-founder, Inflection Point Ventures says, “According to MoHUA, as of January 2020, India generated 1,47,613 MT of solid waste. This is a serious situation that our country is headed to and we are seeing startups taking on this challenge to address the waste generated in the country. Ishitva’s model is particularly innovative as they are leveraging cutting-edge technology to sort out the waste which is already being generated. Sorting the waste is the first step to a meaningful recycling ecosystem. Ishitva’s business vision and our ESG goals are a seamless synergy which prompted us to invest in the company.”
Ishitva currently offers a range of solutions including SUKA (AI-powered air sorting), YUTA, (AI-powered robotic sorting) and Netra AI Vision system which helps in identifying waste and smart bins. The AI-powered Netra identifies the waste, learns about its contents by capturing images, and then scans for recyclable material.
Ishitva’s AI-powered sorting solutions are already installed in commercial material recovery facilities and the company is an advanced stage of talks with multiple MRF facilities as well as recyclers in the plastic value chain.
Many waste management and plastic value chain players and veterans also participated including Kamaljyot Investments Ltd (a subsidiary of Excel Industries Ltd), Gandhi Family from GRP Ltd., AVI Global Plast Private Limited, Anup Gulati COO at Quality Maritime Provider Lda., Harinder Arya President & Div CEO - Major Capex & Pressure Control at Joulon, Sanjay Kamlani Serial Investor and Founder of Pangea3 and Mohan Ayyangar: Operations Lead – GDS EY India.
Jitesh Dadlani, Founder of Ishitva, have spent more than 5 years working closely with waste management companies to understand their challenges and to explore how to mitigate these using industry 4.0 tools says, “Indian waste management industry is a riddle and our unlimited dream is to eliminate the manual sorting of waste which often involves humans to work unhygienic conditions. Our vision is to install industry 4.0 solutions in 4000+ towns of the country picked up by Swachh Bharat mission and we are thrilled to have IPV as a part of this journey.”
Sandip Singh, CEO of Ishitva, with 16 years of experience in venture building and private equity investments, says: “We are excited that many of the waste industry stalwarts are joining early in our journey. With IPV, we now have access to a large pool of professionals and experts which is immensely useful at this stage for us.”
Waste sorting in India is currently mostly done by humans. The process is not only unhygienic and tedious but also dangerous for human beings. Using the powerful ishitvAI algorithm, the startup has built one of the most advanced Air Sorting Solutions SUKA 1.3, with the capability to sort up to 6 tons of plastic waste/ hour. This system is an answer to various sorting challenges faced by the industry including Black Plastic, Multilayer packaging (including MLP flexibles), Objects with sleeves, Objects with dirt layer on top, Brand identification and quantification etc. In addition, their next industry-changing concept is a fully automated material recovery facility which provides the last level of segregation without any human intervention.
Only 10% of waste is recycled in the World and the balance goes for dumping in the land, water bodies, oceans, and incineration. About 66% of global waste is generated in low-income countries, therefore, we need solutions that can be adopted by these economies to solve this global problem. With the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Vision, Ishitva has been able to make material recovery efficient for low-income countries, even for the decentralized and smaller size operations.
Ishitva was founded in 2018 by Jitesh, coming from more than 15 years of experience in building software solutions for various Fortune 500 businesses, with a tall ambition to revolutionize the waste management industry with the power of industry 4.0 tools. With Sandip joining in 2020, both Jitesh and Sandip are in a unique position with deep knowledge about challenges faced by the industry and how industry 4.0 tools can be utilized to solve the same.
Inflection Point Ventures is an angel investing platform with over 4800 CXOs, HNIs and Professionals to together invest in startups. The firm supports new-age entrepreneurs by providing them monetary & experiential capital and connecting them with a diverse group of investors. IPV started in 2018 believes that ‘Everyone can Grow with Startups’ as it plans to invest INR 155 Cr in 2021 across 60 startups.