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Couple’s DIY Kits Help Grow Exotic Mushrooms Inside Your Home; Earn Them Rs 50 Lakh/Year

Co-founded by Prithvi Kini and Jashid Hameed in Bengaluru, Nuvedo — featured on Shark Tank India — offers DIY mushroom kits for easy chemical-free mushroom cultivation at home, along with other value-based products.

Couple’s DIY Kits Help Grow Exotic Mushrooms Inside Your Home; Earn Them Rs 50 Lakh/Year

Recently featured on Shark Tank India Season 3, Bengaluru-based startup Nuvedo has earned a spotlight with its one-of-a-kind Mushroom DIY kits, which enable individuals to grow chemical-free mushrooms effortlessly in the comfort of their homes.

Designed for mushroom enthusiasts, mushroom consumers, and even kids, this mushroom growing kit allows anyone to harvest mushrooms from the box, straight to their plate.

The simple DIY kit allows you to cultivate exotic mushrooms — including pink oyster mushrooms, Indian high-protein oyster mushrooms, king tuber oyster mushrooms, grey oyster mushrooms, and elm oyster mushrooms — in just 10 days.

By making mushroom cultivation easy, the startup’s main objective is to enhance people’s understanding of fungi and bring the healing benefits of mushrooms to every Indian household.

The simple DIY kit allows you to cultivate exotic mushrooms in 10 days.
The simple DIY kit allows you to cultivate exotic mushrooms in 10 days.

We sat down with the co-founders Prithvi Kini (30) and Jashid Hameed (32) to learn more about the DIY kits and their obsession with mushrooms that took them to Shark Tank.

The shared fondness for mushrooms

In 2014, after completing her higher studies in philosophy at Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College For Women, Prithvi worked with Bengaluru-based startups focusing on science and technology. Whereas Jashid graduated from BITS Pilani and then pursued his master’s from IIM Indore in 2017. He worked with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd as area operations manager.

A turning point came in their lives when they met each other on an online dating application. As their love story evolved, they discovered their life goals in the food industry.

It was amid the COVID-19 pandemic that the couple discovered the benefits of mushroom-based extracts and started sourcing wellness products from the United States.

“Mushrooms essentially help in stress relief, mental well-being, gut health, anxiety, cardiovascular health, and athletic performance. After experiencing their health benefits, we started looking for alternatives or Indian brands that were making mushroom-based supplements. Sadly, we couldn’t find any such brand,” Jashid tells The Better India.

Other than the mushroom growing kit, the startup offers several value added products for overall well-being.
Other than the mushroom growing kits, the startup offers several value-added products for overall well-being.

“We wanted to build a brand to bridge this gap. But when we started, we found that there weren’t enough people growing it. Then the question came, how do we cultivate these? We realised that we have to start from scratch, make our own spawn to make extracts and eventually the wellness products,” he adds.

In 2020, Jashid undertook training at the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR) in Bengaluru to understand the nitty-gritty of cultivating mushrooms. After a year of research and development, the couple officially launched their company Nuvedo in 2021 by exhausting their collective savings of Rs 30 lakh.

How does the DIY kit work

When the couple started researching the field, they found a lack of awareness about the cultivation of mushrooms. “People have misconceptions surrounding mushrooms because they are seen growing in agricultural waste and unhygienic conditions,” Prithvi tells The Better India.

It became essential for them to come up with a solution that allowed people to be educated on mushroom cultivation. Their quest led them to design a DIY mushroom kit.

Jashid shares, “We wanted to build a community of mushroom enthusiasts by using these growing kits because we felt that directly launching mushroom supplements in a market that doesn’t know anything about mushrooms would have been hard to target. So, when people themselves nurture and consume mushrooms, they’ll understand its importance.”

The kit which is about arm’s length, comprises a cardboard bag containing ragi straw, which has mushroom mycelium growing on it. It serves as the growing medium of the mushroom fungi. Along with this, the kit also contains a small spray bottle.

Explaining how the kit works, Prithvi says, “You fill the water bottle with drinking water and spray the bag three times a day. This will provide a moist and humid atmosphere to activate the myceliated substrate. In about 10 days, you will get your first harvest of organic mushrooms. With this, you can harvest a total of 500 grams of mushroom in two to three harvests from one kit.”

“They are completely sustainable as they grow on agricultural waste. It doesn’t require sunlight and anybody can grow them,” she adds.

The team of Nuvedo startup that is based out of Bengaluru.
The team of Bengaluru-based Nuvedo startup.

Last year, Nithin George bought their pink oyster grow kit and says that he continues to be fascinated with it. “Coming from a non-agricultural background, I had no idea about the world of mushrooms. When I attended a workshop by Nuvedo, I got to learn about how mushrooms are beneficial to our health and well-being,” he tells The Better India.

“This sparked my curiosity and I tried growing them at home. And the cultivation process was the most beautiful sight. My family kept staring at those beautiful produce and later plucked them for consumption. Their kit is just a well-crafted gateway into this vast mystical world of mycophiles,” he adds.

Priced at Rs 699, the couple has sold these kits to at least 20,000 customers across the country and has found major demand in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kochi, and Pune.

The Shark Tank experience

On 7 February, 2024, the couple made it to the centre stage of Shark Tank India Season 3. Although they did not bag a deal, Jashid says, “We were not able to get a deal as sharks wanted to understand the market trend first. They themselves were not really aware of mushrooms because we had to start the pitch by explaining that mushrooms are not plants, they’re fungi.”

“But I think we were somewhat successful in being able to break some myths around mushrooms and highlight the healing benefits and properties of our products,” adds Prithvi.

Anyway, our primary target audience, Jashid says, were people who have some fascination for mushrooms and are open to growing them in their house for consumption.

That said, the couple believes their lives have been “mushrooming” since the launch of the company that today clocks an annual revenue of Rs 50 lakh.

“Over these years, we have visited several farmers and places to understand the biodiversity that our country has to offer. With these mushrooms, we are healing our own selves every day. I don’t think any other corporate job would have given both of us the opportunities and the fulfilment that has come through this space,” smiles Prithvi.

(Edited by Pranita Bhat; All photos: Nuvedo)

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