“Our parents’ generation grew up with the promise of an exciting future. Our generation grew up with the promise of a bleak future”, says Angad Daryani, 23, founder of Praan, on the motivation behind starting the company.
Praan was founded in 2017 by Angad Daryani. Praan provides a low-cost, filter-less, and AI-based outdoor air purification system.
Its popular and important product is a six-and-a-half-foot-tall cylindrical-shaped air purifier that can be placed outdoors to purify the air surrounding you.
Like other purifiers with replaceable filters, this device has a fan that pulls in polluted air. But unlike other purifiers, this device has optimized its airflow so the filtered particles settle down in a collection chamber rather than sticking to any of the plates. When this chamber is filled, using a sensor Praan notifies the users beforehand.
Emptying the chamber is an easy 30-second process according to Angad, all you have to do is twist it and it will come out and then you can empty it and put it back in.
This whole idea was started as a side project when Angad was in his second year of college at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta and now this has become a company planning to grow the team and the product.
During his journey, he got support from the community, with engineers and designers who volunteered to contribute to the project.
He later patented the technology and share the credits with those who contributed.
Recently, Praan has secured $1.5 million in funding led by Social Impact Capital, with participation from better Capital, Paradigm Shift Capital, Avaana Capital, and Quality of Life Investments Texas.
Several angel investors like Maulik Majumdar, Chief Medical Officer of Bioforumis; Surya Panditi of EnelX; Ritesh Malik, Founder of Innov8; Akshay Singhal, Founder and CEO of Log9 Materials; and Mehul Shah, Director of DSP Design Architects, and others, were also part of this funding round.
Praan’s initial plan was to install 20 feet tall air purifiers every few feet on the streets which didn't work out as very soon he met with the infrastructural challenges. And Angad also realized that this needed a lot of government-level participation which is why Angad wanted to make something that requires no new infrastructure and zero maintenance. Its filter-less technology reduced the maintenance efforts.
“We remove pollution from the air without any replaceable filters. So there is no maintenance cost in owning these devices, our mission is clean air for all” says Angad.
Praan deployed its first product in India in June 2019. It kept on improving with time with better manufacturing quality and research.
The startup has partnered with three manufacturing companies to make its MK One product-the first version in India.
This filter is made of stainless steel and has a span of five to seven years. It can easily withstand all the weather conditions. The device can even optimize its performance based on the air quality.
The startup has found companies with industrial sites and schools as its initial big customers. A lot of manufacturing companies have issues with air quality which is why they chose Praan, this device fo not need a lot of energy to function compared to other devices and can even run on solar energy.
Praan strategically installs its devices in locations keeping in mind the architecture of the street, pollution in the area, and airflow.
Angad said, “We have a process where we study the site and the pollution dynamics, we are able to analyze it in software, place our device in the real world, understand the impact, optimize it, and then install our hardware in the real world”.
The future plans of the startup are to expand its 10 member India team and to take the patent-pending core technology to real large-scale pilots through B2B deployments and stabilize manufacturing.