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IIT Roorkee startup's 'PuFF' is making smoking 50% less harmful without affecting experience. It just raised funding from VCs

Anushree Singh | May 11, 2017, 02.25PM IST
An IIT Roorkee startup in the nanotechnology domain, Log 9 Materials, has recently raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-series-A funding from GEMs, which is a Delhi based Venture Capital firm.

Incubated at the TIDES Incubation Centre of IIT Roorkee in November, 2015, Log 9 Materials develops scientifically proven technologies from the lab into commercially viable end products for industrial production. It is continuously developing solutions in the form of life changing and eco-friendly products.

The industry is all set to witness the Fourth Industrial revolution and is expected to draw some or all of innovations like nanotechnology, wonder materials like Graphene along with 3D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, IoT and advanced energy etc. Batting on the advantage of being one of the early innovators to develop Graphene nanotechnology products, the founder Akshay V. Singhal along with his team is bent upon creating commercial nanotech products/technologies, which can either be launched as a B2C product or licensed out to corporates and generate revenue.

Akshay has always been driven by research which can be replicated in a product form and has immediate application for consumers. While at a research internship at University of Alberta, Canada he developed an understanding of how to execute and develop such solutions in the Indian market. Building on this, he created Log 9 Materials.

PuFF, a graphene based filter attachable to all cigarettes
Today, the start-up has a product PuFF, a graphene based filter attachable to all cigarettes which reduces the toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke by 50% without affecting the user experience of a smoker.

The patent pending product reduces the risk of smoking for over 1 billion smokers worldwide. It reduces the tar content, heavy metal content as well as other carcinogenic constituents from tobacco smoke, thus reducing the risk of cancer and other pulmonary disorders arising due to smoking. The product, the company claims, is a highly cost-effective, efficient and flexible technology which can be used as a plug on filter to any cigarette or also as a replacement to the existing fiber filters conventionally used in cigarettes.

It is available at cigarette vendors in Delhi-NCR and has witnessed monthly sales of over 10,000 pieces via offline and online channels. Apart from filtration, the team has also carried out preliminary work on various protective coatings and Graphene Quantum Dot based LED displays.

Funding
When asked about the reason for funding Log 9, Aditya Gupta, the Managing Partner at GEMs, said - "Our focus has always been about encouraging technological innovations. We see great potential in Log 9 Materials and the way it is developing proven nano-technology into commercial products. The start-up has a smart business strategy of licensing IPR or manufacture and retail its products. It is certain to become a window to the future businesses and we are happy to be instrumental in their progressive journey."

Meanwhile Akshay Singhal, Founder & CEO of Log 9 Materials, said - "We see a huge market for Graphene customer base, with product innovations like non-electric water purification systems, Industrial effluent treatment, Air filtration and purification products, energy efficient room heaters, and graphene for LED and bio-diagnostic applications. Log 9 currently holds 2 patents in graphene synthesis and graphene products. We estimate to license out 2 technologies within this year earning a total profit of more than $2 Million. We are extensively working in clean air and water, energy efficiency, and coatings domain with a plan to touch all domains within 5 years."

With a team of over 10 individuals with expertise in Nanotechnology R&D, the start-up is at the moment functioning from its new Headquarters and R&D Centre in North Bangalore.



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