Husband-wife duo's virtual reality startup SmartVizX raises angel fundingHarshith Mallya
SmartVizX, a virtual reality (VR) solutions startup, announced that it had raised over $500,000 from Indian Angel Network (IAN), Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs India (SA&E India). The startup builds ‘immersive technology’ solutions using VR for real estate and other industries.
Story so far
SmartvizX was founded in February 2015 by husband-wife duo of Gautam Tewari and Tithi Tewari, who each have 15 years of experience in the space of architecture and design. The duo realised the potential of gamification in everyday decision making using Virtual Reality, which allows users to engage and interact better with content and its numerous applications across diverse sectors.
Driven by their entrepreneurial spirit, they quit their secure jobs and started SmartVizX. Gautam holds a Masters degree in Construction Management from UNSW Australia and is a LEED accredited professional. Tithi holds a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) from CEPT Ahmedabad, and has completed programmes in LEAP (Leadership Excellence through Achievement and Practice) from INSEAD and MPSFI (Managing Professional Service Firms in India) from Harvard Business School.
In its essence, SmartVizX is a virtualisation firm that creates interactive virtual environment based on ‘immersive technology’ for business applications and helps facilitate consumer buying behaviour and decision making. The team at SmartVizX comprises of experienced professionals from the domains of architecture and gaming technology. The prime focus of SmartVizX is to help brands and companies do smarter business by implementing virtualisation solutions. Gautam, Founding Director, SmartVizX said,
We are thrilled by the kind of response we have received and the investors who we have on board. Our vision is to enable VR supported processes and decision making in business. We are further motivated by the fast adoption of this immersive technology by established brands.
SmartVizX has so far worked with brands like Rockworth, Quikr, PNB Metlife, and Developer Group and is upbeat about helping brands utilize potential of VR applications and creating products to maximize business outcomes.
The funding round was led by Saurabh Srivastava, considered as one of the architects of the IT Industry and entrepreneurial ecosystem in India, Mohit Goyal, Founding Member and Director, IAN, and Ajay Lavakare (who will join the board of SmartVizX), Member, IAN and Co-President of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs India. Saurabh said,
The concept of virtual reality application for business is itself is a disruptive idea. The unique mix of architects and game developers at SmartVizX with the strategic expertise which the founders bring to the table makes us confident that they will be able to transform their vision into reality.
The Virtual Reality market is expected to rise to a $150 billion market by 2020 with multiple levels of functionality across sectors – some yet to be discovered. Ajay, Co-President of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs India believes that virtual reality is no longer a future dream, but already one of the biggest technology trends for 2016.
VR hardware segment has seen a lot of action lately with release of Samsung Gear VR and pre orders having opened up for the consumer versions of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Experts expect the content creation VR market to explode in the near future. Some activity has been witnessed on VR game content side of things already.
In November 2015, VR startup Absentia founded by BITS Pilani Goa undergrads had raised Rs 1.2 crore funding from Astarc Ventures, 50K Ventures, and other angels. Then on the global front, stealth mode startup Magic Leap which is in the Augmented Reality, VR sectors had raised a $793.5 million Series C round led by Alibaba in February 2016.
SmartvizX will utilise the funding to expand R&D and launch a new Bengaluru centre within the first few months. The funds will also be used to grow the team, including hiring a new R&D Head and a CTO, that will innovate on products and applications across sectors.
The key focus areas for the company over the next six months will remain the real estate and AEC industries but it will also explore avenues such as listing portals, e-commerce, and the furniture industry to enable better visualization of products and services and enable informed decision-making. SmartVizX also plans to build further virtualisation tools in addition to testing new methods of engagement.