Bhutan Alternatives raises Nu 8.34mn through crowdfunding

Bhutan Alternatives raises Nu 8.34mn through crowdfunding

Bhutan Alternatives is the first successful entrepreneur to raise Nu 8.34mn through Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan’s (RSEBL) crowdfunding platform within four weeks.

Bhutan Alternatives is a ‘Social Entrepreneur’ with the motto of attaining “Zero-Waste” through maximizing resource recovery for creating sustainable waste management system.

Bhutan Alternatives collects e-waste and recycles and refurbishes printer cartridges.

The business was started in 2015 with an amount of Nu 500,000 and now the company is worth Nu 28mn.

It was initiated with a goal for sustainable utilization of toner cartridges in the country. This waste management scheme helps to prevent environmental degradation caused by the disposal of such waste.

Bhutan Alternatives was listed in Bhutan crowdfunding portal after two weeks of comprehensive discussion, emendation and anatomization with a review team from the RSEB.

Forty one investors have invested in the company through crowdfunding portal and the investors will hold 30% of the total stake of the company.

With the additional investment, Bhutan Alternatives aims to expand its business coverage throughout the nation and also in the region by selling its products in countries like India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Thailand. 

The Founder of Bhutan Alternatives, Leki Dawa, said that with the additional money he plans to upscale and diversify the company.

He said that his immediate plan will be investing on machinery and equipment.

“The company will focus more on quality. The product will have better quality than original equipment manufacturer,” said Leki Dawa.

In four years the company has collected 22,800 waste printer cartridges across the country and supplied 20,000 printer cartridges across the country.

Leki Dawa said that now the company plans to produces around 10,000 products every year, whereas earlier it could produce only more than 5,000 in a year.

Currently, the company has 17 employees.

Leki Dawa, who is from Zhemgang, has a diploma in civil engineering from Kanyaur Polytechnic, Kolkata, India. He underwent training for refurbishing printer cartridge in China for three months.

The CEO of RSEB, Dorji Phuntsho said that two other companies registered for crowdfunding, Freelancer Bhutan and Himalayan Food are also doing well and many investors have invested. These two companies still have time.

The CEO said that if the company does not get the required amount within a time frame, the amount will be refunded to the investors.

The Bhutan crowdfunding portal is an initiative of RSEB supported by the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan and licensed to operate the first crowdfunding portal under the crowdfunding rules and regulation 2019. The license was issued during the BEFIT 2019 under the theme of catalyzing CSI to drive Bhutan’s Economic Diversification.

Crowdfunding is the process of solicitation of funds (small amounts) from multiple investors through a web-based platform (crowdfunding portal) or social networking site for specific projects, business venture or social causes. The portal facilitates start-up or early–stage business and CSIs in Bhutan to raise money through issuances of securities (equity), donations and rewards.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu