Econiture is a sustainable furniture brand started by four friends named Madhur Rathi, Bhushan Boob, Roshan Pidiyar, and Ashish Modak; who pitched their company in the fourteenth episode of Season 2 of Shark Tank India. While the Sharks were impressed by what the founders had built, none of them ended up investing in the company, citing their own reasons for the same.
In this piece, I will walk you through what exactly is Econiture, the Econiture Shark Tank Pitch, and share updates on what happened with Econiture after their Shark Tank Appearance.
What is Econiture?
Econiture is a brand that makes furniture not from wood or metal but from plastic waste that would have otherwise lain in the ocean or a landfill. If you are thinking that the furniture might not be high quality as it is made from recycled plastic, let me tell you that Econiture makes extremely sturdy and good looking furniture. Econiture also does not use any chemicals or color pigments while manufacturing.
Econiture Shark Tank Pitch
After entering the Shark Tank room, the founders began by sharing how plastic was once considered a great innovation but how it has now become a big threat to the environment. To solve this problem, the founders came up with the idea of recycling plastic waste and making furniture out of it.
Econiture’s furniture is unique, durable, and strong. At the time of the pitch, Econiture had converted more than 20,000 kg of plastic waste into furniture and sold 1800 products to 1200 unique customers. With a long-term goal of turning Econiture into a global sustainable brand, the founders sought 50 lakhs for 8% equity.
When Anupam questioned why they chose furniture and not anything else, they responded by saying that they found out there was no recycler who makes anything from 100% waste. Apart from that, while they looked at a wide range of products, they chose furniture because it consumes a huge amount of plastic waste. One Econiture bench alone takes 40 kg of plastic waste to make.
In FY21-22, Econiture did 1.3 crores in sales. Out of this total of 1.3 crores in sales, 18 lakhs came from furniture and the remaining came from selling the segregated waste to recyclers. Now, while it might seem like the waste segregation business is more lucrative, Econiture founders explained that furniture piece has a gross margin of 65% and the waste segregation piece has a gross margin of 25%. This year, the founders are expecting Rs 1.1 crores to come from the segregation piece and 50 lakhs to come from the furniture piece.
After hearing this, Aman decides to share he is out as he thinks the business is in the early stages and might also face challenges due to logistical issues. Namita also shares she is out as she does have expertise in this business and she would not be able to provide much value. While Peyush is impressed with the quality of the furniture, he shared he would not like to invest at the moment as there would be challenges in scaling.
When Amit requests the founders to share unit economics for both the furniture and the waste segregation piece, the founders take the example of the bench to explain the unit economics. For an MRP of Rs 15,000 total cost including manufacturing, tax, marketing, and logistics, the net margin is 15% to 17%. The waste segregation piece sells for 15 rupees per kg, but only Rs 0.50 or Rs 1 remains as the profit.
Despite hearing all this and learning about their plan to expand into other products, Anupam says he won’t be able to invest as it is too early in the business. Amit also does not invest but says he would be interested in business maybe at a later stage when the business scales.
What Happened to Econiture after Shark Tank ( Econiture Shark Tank Update )
Even though the founders of Econiture failed to raise funds from the Sharks, the Shark Tank appearance must have definitely led to an increase in brand awareness, and in turn, an increase in sales. Econiture also got much deserved from a number of reputed media outlets post the Shark Tank episode. At the time of writing, the company is in business.
You can watch the Econiture Shark Tank Pitch saga here.