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IIIT College Friends Turn Landfill Waste Into ₹220 Cr Valued Business

In 2019, WeVois was launched by two college friends, Abhishek Gupta and Abhinav Vashistha. It is a waste management startup based in Jaipur.

By Bilal Khan
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Abhishek Gupta and Abhinav Vashistha - Founders At WeVois

Abhishek Gupta and Abhinav Vashistha - Founders At WeVois

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We often see individuals peeing on the wall but never think of doing something about it. For Abhishek Gupta, this sparked an idea that later became a life-changing decision. He observed a person urinating on a wall when a toilet was available nearby. Abhishek was surprised, which could have stemmed from reasons such as unawareness of proper sanitation facilities or the cleanliness of those facilities. 

This incident led him to focus on the issue of cleanliness and the availability of proper sanitation facilities. Abhishek discussed his observations with Abhinav, who was then at IIT Bombay. By August 2017, their research transformed into a prototype for an app that would locate toilets and dustbins.

Recognizing a larger problem in household waste collection, they shifted to develop a more comprehensive solution. This marked the beginning of WeVois in 2017. Together, they began collecting data and researching waste management problems by visiting and talking to various municipal corporations.

They encountered rejection from various municipal offices as they were not initially sure that the municipal department was the one that handled all waste collection issues. With advice from elders, they went to a municipal office 120 km from Jaipur. In April 2019, their persistence paid off and they secured a partnership. However, they faced many challenges such as a strike by workers on the first day of waste collection.

“This led us to understand the psychology of the workers and how their demands and requests need to be respected as well,” said the waste management startup co-founder during an exclusive conversation with Startup Pedia. 

Starting with 10,000 households, five developers, eight operations staff, and twenty-five sanitation workers using municipal vehicles, WeVois’s journey then took off.

WeVois

Co-founders' Early Life:

Abhishek Gupta and Abhinav Vashistha are the two innovative minds behind WeVois. They come from middle-class families. Abhishek was born and raised in Agra, then moved to Jaipur after completing his schooling. Supported by his two elder sisters and parents, Abhishek pursued his graduation at IIIT Jabalpur and post-graduation at IIM Ahmedabad. 

Meanwhile, Abhinav always had a passion for technology and innovation. They met at IIIT Jabalpur and formed a friendship that later became the basis of their entrepreneurial journey and a dream of a clean India.

Abhishek Gupta and Abhinav Vashistha - Founders At WeVois

Startup Info In Detail:

WeVois, a waste management startup based in Jaipur, specializes in solid waste management, focusing on municipal waste, which often ends up in landfills and creates heaps of untreated waste. Using technology, they ensure efficient waste collection from doorsteps (separately collecting wet and solid waste), employing a system that allows citizens and municipalities to track waste collection vehicles in real-time, similar to apps like Ola and Uber.

This system has been implemented in cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Sikar, and Pali, among others. Currently, WeVois serves around 15 cities across India, achieving a collection efficiency of 90-95%, significantly higher than the national average of around 60-75%. The company started with a daily waste collection of 15-18 tons, which has now soared to 1,200 tons. They have expanded their workforce from 25 sanitation workers to over 1,300, supported by a team of 210 operational staff. WeVois also produces compost from over 5,000 tons of wet waste, which is then used by local farmers.

WeVois has had a positive impact on both the sanitation conditions of the city and the living conditions of the sanitation workers. The Jaipur-based entrepreneur said while talking to Startup Pedia, “By improving waste management efficiency and ensuring fair wages, the lifestyle of our sanitation workers has improved, many of whom have been able to purchase homes and vehicles. These efforts have also solved various environmental issues, increased the rate of recycling, and reduced landfill waste.”

WeVois

Wealth from Waste:

WeVois has seen financial growth since its origin. The Jaipur-based landfill waste management startup generated a revenue of Rs. 3.16 crore in its first year (FY-20), which grew to Rs. 4.5 crore in the second year (FY-21), Rs. 9.9 crore in the third year (FY-22), and Rs. 20 crore in the fourth year (FY-23). In the fifth year (FY-24), WeVois achieved a revenue of Rs. 30 crore and is on track to reach Rs. 60-70 crore this year (FY-25).

So far, the Jaipur-based waste management startup WeVois has secured $4 million in funding through a mix of equity and debt in its pre-series A round. The funding was led by Innovana Thinklabs Ltd, Upaya Social Ventures, RecurClub, and prominent angels including Sunil Kumar Singhvi and Rajendra Lora of Freshokartz. The co-founders of the startup are going to raise more funds. “The company's valuation has risen to approximately $25-30 million (around Rs. 220 crores),” added Abhishek during the interaction with Startup Pedia.

WeVois

The Plan Ahead:

The company is focusing on its expansion into states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. It is both founders' dream to see WeVois become a leading force in waste management, and they aim to expand operations to 250-300 cities in India over the next five years. The startup wants people from different cities to come forward and join hands to make the country cleaner and greener.

The company's long-term goal is to establish zero-waste cities, using advanced R&D to adopt innovative waste processing techniques. By promoting waste segregation at the source and infusing technology with waste management, WeVois aspires to position India as a global leader in waste management.

Abhishek and Abhinav encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to tackle real-world problems with innovative solutions. "If you have an idea, start working on it immediately. Focus on solving problems that impact common people and aim to create a positive effect on society, the country, and the world. Avoid copying existing market ideas; instead, innovate and develop solutions that people need and that will provide significant benefits globally."

FAQ

Who are the founders of WeVois?
WeVois was founded by Abhishek Gupta and Abhinav Vashistha. Abhishek is from Agra and completed his education at IIIT Jabalpur and IIM Ahmedabad, while Abhinav has always had a passion for technology and innovation.
What does WeVois do?
WeVois specializes in solid waste management, focusing on municipal waste. The company employs technology to ensure efficient waste collection, segregating wet and solid waste, and tracking waste collection vehicles in real-time.
What is the revenue of WeVois?
WeVois generated a revenue of Rs. 3.16 crore in its first year (FY-20), which grew to Rs. 30 crore by the fifth year (FY-24). The company is projected to reach Rs. 60-70 crore in revenue by FY-25.
What funding has WeVois secured so far?
WeVois has secured $4 million in funding through a mix of equity and debt in its pre-series A round, with contributions from Innovana Thinklabs Ltd, Upaya Social Ventures, RecurClub, and prominent angels.