Zerund, a Guwahati-based manufacturer of sustainable bricks, has received INR 7.8 Cr (USD 1 million) seed funding from a clutch of strategic private investors including Dreamweaver Investments. The investment was facilitated via the Gruhas ASPIRE accelerator program, a joint initiative of Gruhas Proptech Fund, The DLF Family office, and Anthill Ventures.
Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Assam, and Gruhas Proptech Fund promoters, Abhijeet Pai from the Puzzolana Group, Nikhil Kamath, Co-founder of Zerodha, and Rahul Talwar, Director, DLF Family Office felicitated the Gruhas ASPIRE cohort at a ceremony held today at NEDFi (North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd) Convention Centre in Guwahati.
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% 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 ninefold to 2.3 crore bricks in 2026, in line with the expanding demand for sustainable bricks,” said David Gogoi, Co-Founder & CEO of Zerund. “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 homegrown idea to the rest of India and beyond.”
India’s estimated annual demand for construction blocks by green-rated developers is INR 10,000 Cr. 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% and needs grassroots innovation to prepare for a future that places sustainability front and center 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”.
Over the last four years, Zerund’s bricks, which are 15% cheaper and 45% lighter than the industry standard, have been used in homes, commercial spaces, and institutions such as the Assam Don Bosco University, Cotton University, and the Numaligarh Refinery. L&T and Shapoorji Pallonji utilize Zerund bricks in their real estate developments.
In 2021, Zerund raised Rs 4 crore from investors, including NEDFi Venture Capital Ltd. (NVCL) and Villgro Foundation.
Zerund is one of the seven start-ups belonging to the Gruhas ASPIRE accelerator program. A partnership between Gruhas Proptech Fund, DLF Family Office, and Anthill Ventures, Gruhas ASPIRE (Accelerating Sustainable Proptech in Real Estate) chooses high-potential start-ups from four Proptech streams:
1. Construction Management
2. Property & Asset Management
3. New Materials and Technologies
4. Investments and Financing