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Shark Tank India: Azhar Iqubal rejects carbon footprint tracker app, says it can be ‘manipulated’; Aman Gupta invests for his wife | Television News

Ever since the commencement of the ongoing season, Shark Tank India has witnessed the arrival of many pitchers with unique ideas and products, trying to woo the judges into investing in their dreams. While some have faced setbacks, failing to garner any investment, a good number of entrepreneurs have managed to get the Sharks on board their firms.

In a recent episode focused on environmental sustainability, ecopreneur Prachi Shevgaonkar presented Cool The Globe, an app that helps people reduce their carbon footprint, which was not well received by Inshorts CEO Azhar Iqubal who noted that the data that will be voluntarily added here could be manipulated.

Prachi began her pitch by narrating an episode from her life, wherein she was, at the age of nine, asked by one of her teachers to write a letter to her future self, who would be 10 years older, narrating what she wanted to be when she grew up. Ten years later, Prachi said, she came across the letter, wherein she had written she wanted to “change the world”.

Prachi also mentioned she took a gap year at 18 and travelled across India, interacting with people from all walks of life, slowly realising how climate change was affecting people’s day-to-day lives, which ultimately led to the invention of the Cool The Globe app.

According to Prachi, the app, available on both the Play Store and App Store, offers over 100 ways to be eco-friendly in daily lives and measures impact in terms of carbon emission reduction. “The app is directly linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 13,” she said, adding that the app has users from 110 countries and has managed to prevent 34 lakh kg of carbon emissions. Prachi, who seemed perfectly decked up for the pitching wearing a green top on which the words, “Feeling hot? Cool the globe,” were imprinted, asked the Sharks for Rs 25 lakh for 5 per cent equity, valuing the app at Rs 5 crore.

Festive offer

When Emcure Pharmaceuticals’ ED Namita Thapar asked Prachi what triggered her to get into environmental conservation, the ecopreneur recalled a conversation she once had with a 12-year-old boy who lived in a slum who shared that his only wish in life was that his house doesn’t get inundated. As her response impressed the Sharks, CEO Anupam Mittal, who is infamous for his short temper, took the moment to praise Prachi and said “your parents have raised you well and your energy is so infectious.”

As boAt CEO Aman Gupta asked about her past experiences, Prachi said that she worked as an advisor to Climate Leadership Coalition and Tata Power, apart from attending the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP 27) as a delegate from India.

“Are you an environmental activist or do you genuinely want to build a business?” Mittal asked Prachi, to which she responded that she started off as an activist. “Humare paas sirf 30 saal hai, climate change ke worst effects avoid karne ke liye. Ye hume 30 saal mein kar dikhana hai toh hume ise entrepreneur ke jaise dekhna padega… Not just personally but as a world (We only have 30 years to avoid the worst effects of climate change. We need to see it as entrepreneurs… Not just personally, but as a global community, to achieve this within 30 years),” she adds.

Prachi also informed the Sharks that she has signed MoUs with seven large organisations for the B2B version of the app. She further mentioned that as the app is free, their revenue model is through organisations which buy Cool The Globe’s annual subscription for their employees, at a rate of Rs 300-500 per staffer.

As the discussions progressed, Inshorts CEO Azhar Iqubal pointed out that the app could be manipulated. “If a company subscribes to the app and if their employees manipulate the app (by entering wrong figures), the data that comes here might be many folds higher than the real figure,” he said. Prachi assured the Sharks of safeguards in place to prevent such issues, further strengthening their confidence in the venture.

Upon hearing this, Edelweiss MF CEO Radhika Gupta made a leap, saying she has an offer for Prachi, immediately evoking the same response from Aman. While Radhika offered Rs 10 lakh for 10 per cent equity and Rs 15 lakh debt at 8 per cent interest for two years, valuing the company at Rs 1 crore, Aman shocked the Sharks by extending exactly what Prachi asked for Rs 25 lakh for 5 per cent equity, valuing the app at Rs 5 crore. However, Thapar, Mittal, and Iqubal backed out. Mittal, while backing out, expressed admiration for Prachi once again and said “you can always come to master (me) for advice. I would love to be connected.”

Aman and Radhika, after a brief discussion, arrived at a consensus and offered Rs 25 lakh for 10 per cent equity, valuing the company at Rs 2.5 crore, which Prachi countered asking them to set the equity at 6 per cent. However, all three of them finally closed the deal at Rs 25 lakh for 8 per cent equity, valuing the firm at Rs 3.13 crore.

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