This Bengaluru startup aims to build a 'subscribe and recycle' economy for bicycles, toys
Founded in January 2022, GroClub is a circular D2C kids subscription brand, offering parents the opportunity to subscribe to products for their growing children.
From toys to bicycles, children often outgrow things quickly. These items then either end up taking up space in garages or get thrown out, adding to the problem of global waste. To counter this, friends and co-founders, Pruthvi Gowda, Hrishikesh H S, Roopesh Shah, and Sapna M S, decided to launch– a startup that helps reduce the use of single-use products.
The co-founders are parents of kids between the age group of 4 and 15 years and have first-hand experience of dealing with clutter.
“We are four co-founders and amongst us, we have 5 kids between the age group of 4-15. It is heartbreaking to see these outgrown products lie in a corner of a house or in a basement as they have no takers. [The things] lie there for years and eventually get discarded. This is impacting our planet directly with unnecessary landfill. GroClub is a sustainable option to own a product without curbing consumption,” says Pruthvi, CEO and Co-founder, GroClub.
Launched last January, GroClub currently operates only in Bengaluru and offers bicycles on a subscription basis. Along with doorstep delivery of bicycles, the startup also takes care of maintenance, ensuring that the bicycles are in good condition for a safe and enjoyable ride.
“Bicycle waste is a growing environmental concern in India. Many bicycles end up in landfills, contributing to pollution and resource depletion. By opting for a bicycle subscription service like GroClub, parents can actively participate in reducing waste,” adds Pruthvi.
Apart from bicycles for children, the startup also offers bicycles for adults starting from Rs 549 per month.
GroClub’s average cost of subscription is Rs 6,000 per year or Rs 500 per month. The startup says the bicycles, designed in-house, can last a minimum of 10 years. At the end of the subscription, GroClub brings back the cycle and refurbishes it for the next subscriber.
In comparison, the average price for a children’s bicycle ranges Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 and for adults, the price can range up to Rs 20,000.
The startup has a subscriber base of 5,300 customers, with a revenue of Rs 20 lakh in FY-22 and Rs 1.5 crore in FY23. Pruthvi says its current monthly run rate is ~ Rs 25 lakh, with a revenue projection of Rs 3 crore for FY24. It considers Bike Club as one of its competitors.
Embracing circular economy
In recent years, the circular economy has gained significant momentum as a sustainable resource management approach, which emphasises waste reduction and responsible consumption.
In fact, India’s circular economy could reach $45 billion by 2030, according to a report from Kalaari Capital, a prominent venture capital fund.
GroClub says it primarily challenges the "take-make-dispose" approach and encourages the "reduce-reuse-regenerate" mindset.
“By prioritising sustainable product design, implementing take-back initiatives, fostering collaborations, educating consumers, and ensuring transparency, D2C brands can make meaningful contributions to waste reduction and the establishment of a circular economy. As we tackle climate change, it's vital to teach our children responsible consumption - 'reduce-reuse-regenerate',” Pruthvi says.
Opportunities and the way ahead
Started with an initial investment of Rs 2 crore from the co-founders, GroClub has raised funding of Rs 4.3 crore at a valuation of Rs 25 crore. The pre-seed round in June was led by Ramaiah Evolute, a startup wing of MS Ramaiah Group.
An angel consortium consisting of Deepak Gowda of Ascent Capital; Chirag Shah of Velvet (Los Angeles), Isaac Reyes of Ravis (Panama); Amit Nanavati of Juicy Chemistry; Sanjay Munirathna of Keerthi Group, Dinesh Talera; Shricharan N J and Sanjay Sunku (Drink Prime) also participated in the round.
GroClub will soon expand its product lineup to include children’s carry cots, car seats, strollers, bunk beds and toys, says Pruthvi.
The Indian toys market size reached $1.5 billion in 2022. According to IMARC Group, the market is expected to reach $3.0 Billion by 2028, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2% during 2023-2028.
GroClub is also in advance talks for the next round of funding.
“Next round we will be raising in a couple of months to expand our product category ( strollers, kids car seats, carry cots, bunk beds) and enter neighbouring markets such as Hyderabad, Pune, and Mumbai,” says Pruthvi.
As for future plans, Pruthvi says GroClub aims to onboard about 1,50,000 customers from the four markets including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai in the next two years.
(This story was updated to reflect a change in the headline.)
Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti