Mumbai, Tuesday, 5th September, 2023: Cirkla, a pioneering sustainable packaging company, raised ~$3 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Matrix Partners India. The round included investors like Stellaris Venture Partners and other prominent angel investors. The funds will be utilized to scale operations, strengthen the salesforce and invest in new technologies.
Cirkla is on a mission to help brands achieve their sustainability packaging goals through a unique three-step approach: portfolio assessment, design & prototyping and global fulfillment. In the portfolio assessment phase, Cirkla employs proprietary Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) models to evaluate the environmental impact of the brand’s packaging and prioritize SKUs for maximum sustainability impact. Following this, Cirkla’s in-house packaging team develops alternative packaging solutions that meet functional parameters while remaining cost-competitive. Finally, Cirkla leverages its global presence and teams in India, China and the US to manufacture and deliver packaging across various categories, including molded fibre, recycled polymers, pulp and paper, and other cutting-edge technologies.
A recent global survey conducted by McKinsey reveals that despite about 75% of organizations pledging to embrace sustainable packaging, only 30% have the capabilities to meet regional requirements and transparently measure metrics such as recyclability, sustainability and recycled content. Brands face formidable challenges in defining the right sustainability metrics, identifying and prototyping viable alternatives and de-risking their supply chain for global manufacturing and delivery. Cirkla aims to address these challenges with its comprehensive end-to-end packaging platform, offering brands the tools and expertise to assess the environmental impact of packaging, develop sustainable alternatives, and facilitate large-scale manufacturing.
Cirkla was founded in 2023 by a visionary team with a strong background in innovation and sustainability: Vaibhav Goel (IIT Bombay & Kellogg School of Management), Ankur Gupta (IIT Kharagpur & ISB), and Kapil Bhardwaj (NMIMS & Indian Institute of Packaging). The founding team brings on board deep expertise and a proven track record, previously having built and scaled the molded fiber sustainable packaging division at Zume Inc.
On the funding, Vaibhav Goel, Co-founder and CEO of Cirkla, stated, “It's not often that we find instances where all participants within the value chain (consumers, manufacturers, and government) unite towards a common goal. According to various reports, exceptional potential lies ahead for Cirkla, as the worldwide sustainable packaging sector is anticipated to double in size and exceed $500 billion by the year 2030. We are excited to partner with Matrix and Stellaris on this journey and lead the charge towards revolutionizing the packaging industry to drive a positive environmental impact.”
Sudipto Sannigrahi, Principal, Matrix Partners India, added, “At Matrix, we are excited about investing in technologies that help reduce carbon emissions and create a more sustainable world. We believe Cirkla’s sustainable packaging solutions that incorporate advancements in material science to reduce brands’ plastic emissions will be a crucial piece in the fight against climate change globally. Vaibhav, Kapil and Ankur bring together extensive experience having worked in sustainable packaging for years and we are very excited to be partners in their journey.”
Mayank Jain, Principal, Stellaris Venture Partners, said, “We are thrilled to be chosen as partners in the mission to assist CPG brands worldwide transition from plastic packaging to sustainable and biodegradable alternatives. We believe there is a ‘solutioning gap’ in the market - while CPG brands are looking for a roadmap and solution to transition to sustainable packaging, manufacturers are seeking specificity in design and material. Cirkla, with its expert-led, asset-light platform is well poised to bridge this gap between brands and manufacturers.”
Since its inception, Cirkla has forged partnerships with numerous global brands in CPG, Food Service, and Healthcare, expanding its footprint across the US, UK, EU, and India. With the backing of influential investors and a dedicated team, Cirkla is well-positioned to lead the way in transforming the global packaging industry toward a more sustainable future.
Cirkla is a sustainable packaging company that helps brands in their end-to-end journey of achieving sustainability packaging goals. Cirkla is run by a team who believes that sustainability goes hand in hand with economic growth. The founding team has worked across startups, strategy consulting, reputed CPG firms, and has built multiple businesses from ground-up. Cirkla is headquartered in the US and has teams in India and China. For more details, visit: www.gocirkla.com
About Matrix Partners India:
Founded in 2006, Matrix Partners India invests in companies targeting the Indian consumer and enterprise market, and has invested in several category-leading companies such as Dailyhunt(Local language platform), Five Star Business Finance (SME Lending), OfBusiness (B2B commerce, fintech), Ola (Mobility), Ola Electric (Electric Vehicles), OneCard (Mobile-first credit card), Oxyzo (Tech-enabled smart financing), Razorpay (Payments), Captain Fresh (B2B seafood marketplace), Country Delight (D2C dairy & fresh foods brand), GoKwik (E-commerce enablement platform), Jupiter (Neobank), MoEngage (Customer engagement platform), Mswipe(Mobile POS), Stanza Living (Tech-enabled student housing platform) and Zupee (Skill-based gaming) among others. Matrix Partners India has advisory offices in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. Further information is available at www.matrixpartners.in. To know more about our investment philosophy & ideologies, check out the #MatrixMoments podcast series.