Zerund, a Guwahati-based manufacturer of sustainable bricks, has received Rs 7.8 crore (USD 1 million) seed funding from a clutch of strategic private investors including Dreamweaver Investments. The investment was facilitated via the Gruhas ASPIRE accelerator programme, a joint initiative of Gruhas Proptech Fund, the DLF family office, and Anthill Ventures.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Gruhas Proptech Fund promoters – Abhijeet Pai from the Puzzolana Group, Nikhil Kamath, co-founder of Zerodha and Rahul Talwar, director, DLF family office were felicitated the Gruhas ASPIRE cohort at a ceremony at NEDFi (North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd) Convention Centre in Guwahati on September 7.
Started in 2018 by civil engineering classmates David Gogoi, Mousum Talukdar and Rupam Choudhury from Assam Engineering College, Zerund has brick manufacturing plants in Guwahati and Pathsala in Assam.
The company manufactures high-grade, lightweight bricks which utilize 70 percent waste material, including plastic and fly ash. The fly ash is sourced from the National Thermal Plant Corporation (NTPC) unit at Kokrajhar, Assam.
The company will use the new funding to increase its annual production capacity, which stands at more than 25 lakh bricks and expand its sales and distribution network beyond Assam to other Indian states in the coming months.
“We are on track to boost our annual production nine fold to 2.3 crore bricks in 2026, in line with the expanding demand for sustainable bricks,” said David Gogoi, co-founder and CEO of Zerund.
Congratulations selected proptech start-ups Zerund, Modcave, https://t.co/uFrTSOVavu, Safearth, Settl, SustVest & Tellus Habitat. Appreciate Gruhas ASPIRE for its initiative.
In States’ Startup Ranking 2021, Assam was recognised Leader Category in developing a startup ecosystem. pic.twitter.com/ihmILDV8bB
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) September 7, 2022
“Our investors in this round comprise experts with an in-depth knowledge of the Proptech (Property-Technology) space. Their support will be critical as we grow beyond our base in Assam and take our home grown idea to the rest of India and beyond.”
India’s estimated annual demand for construction blocks by green-rated developers is Rs 10,000 crore. India also generates 270 million tons of fly ash annually and 15000 tons of waste plastic daily, highlighting the potential for eco-friendly solutions to combat carbon emissions.
“The construction industry in India is growing at a CAGR of 15.7 percent and needs grassroots innovation to prepare for a future that places sustainability front and centre of all activity,” said Abhijeet Pai, co-founder of Gruhas Proptech Fund.
“Bricks are the fundamental building blocks in construction, and innovations such as Zerund’s product lie at the heart of Gruhas Proptech’s focus on decarbonizing construction and real estate. We will work closely with the Zerund team as they scale their business to meet the increased emphasis on sustainability to future-proof the construction industry”.