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When four friends decided to beat Delhi's pollution with the help of technology that empowers plants

Air pollution has become the most discussed topic of the century. Come winters, the capital city of our country transforms into a gas chamber. In order to combat the issue at hand, 4 friends joined hands to come up with a product that uses both technology and nature to purify the air around us. This product single-handedly can execute the job of over 500 plants! The job of purifying the air that we breathe every day.

Although Urban Air Labs came up with the purifier in 2018, the discussion for the need for such technology had already begun at NASA when they’d published an article that talked about not having to change the filter of the air purifier multiple times. For about two decades, no company took heed to the issue, until Urban Air Labs started working on the air purifier in 2018.

In 2018, the four co-founders of Urban Air Labs, Sanjay Maurya, Akhil Gupta, Akshay Goel and Indrajeet Rao learnt about the concept called phyto (plant) remediation (solution). They observed the presence of certain microorganisms that are situated at the roots of the plants which convert harmful gas into breathable air.

Their approach has been holistic as their aim is not just to purify the air around but also contribute less towards environmental waste. In a normal air purifier, the filter has to be changed every 2-3 months, adding up to waste that takes about 30-40 years to get recycled which isn’t the case with Ubreathe.

Urban Air Labs has two products, Urban Mini that covers roughly about 100-150 square feet

area and Ubreathe Life that occupies about 300-500 square feet of space. Both the products work on the ‘breathing roots’ technology, converting bad air into good, harmless air.

Ubreathe Mini is priced at ₹5900 whereas Ubreathe Life is priced at ₹39,990. The founders of the company made sure to use the least amount of plastic and incorporate metal and wood in the design ( which is why the prices are slightly high ). The company uses platforms like its website, multi-retail online stores like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. to sell the products. Using B2B model, the startup has tied up with schools and offices and charges them basis services provided to them.

Urban Air Labs hasn’t opted for traditional ways of financing its business like approaching investors or crowdfunding but has used bootstrapping as the way to build its business. The company is blessed with support from the government and IIT not only in terms of money but in many other aspects too. The co-founders’ main aim is to refine the technique used in the product and then approach for investment.

The key challenges faced by Labs are the price range of the product( not many can afford or would be willing to pay a high amount ). Not many are cognizant of the need and technology to purify the air around us.

Urban Air Labs anticipates the sale of both the products around Diwali and wants to build on its B2B model by associating with the government for projects like putting up a Ubreathe Wall of plants at metro stations, railway stations, airports, malls etc, that would do the job of cleaning the harmful air around us. Urban Air Labs plans to take it global after working on reducing India’s air pollution.

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