Chadha spent up to $75,000 from her own savings to support the R&D behind the smart device that's embedded in a gemstone and sends alerts and notifications.
In this day and age of wearable technology, especially since the launch of Fitbit, it was going to be just a matter of time before someone thought of throwing some functionalities into women's jewellery. And that someone turned out to be Aditi Chadha, the Founder of DAZL, a Gurgaon-based tech startup.
In fact, when Aditi first heard about Fitbit while working in Silicon Valley, the concept of wearable technology aroused her interest, prompting her to think of developing a women-focused wearable device.
When she could hold herself back in the US any longer, Aditi, an alumnus of the universities of Richmond and San Francisco, decided to liquidate her savings in the US and return to Gurgaon to launch DAZL in May 2015.
To begin with, DAZL has come up with an IoT integrated smart device for women to manage their lifestyle across work, social life, health and home. The device, which looks like a gemstone and also works as fashion jewellery, sends out emergency alerts with location at the touch of a button. It also sends notifications for important events, dates, calls and emails based upon the filters set by the women. When it comes to tracking health and wellness, it sends selective notifications and reminders on the wearable.
Aditi, who brings with her experience in M&A advisory across semiconductors, manufacturing, and enterprise software/cloud in the Silicon Valley, having worked at Grant Thornton and Deloitte, says,
“Our vision is to build DAZL into the leading woman-centric IoT-enabled ecosystem, such that the DAZL app links to the wearable and facilitates connections to an ecosystem of partners serving women’s unique needs, including safety, health and wellness.”
The team of DAZL comprises five employees who have experience in M&A advisory across several different industries, with experience in both Silicon Valley and India.
Aditi says the product development across embedded systems/hardware, software and fashion jewellery took over one and a half years, followed by several iterations.
How does the device work? One has to download the DAZL app (available in both Android and iOS versions), connect DAZL jewellery to the phone through bluetooth, enter the phone numbers of those you wish to receive your connected GPS location in the case of an emergency or safety situation, and specify notifications in the form of emails, texts, calls, calendar, health and wellness alerts.
The money part
DAZL raised funds in August 2016 from Vodafone and Zone Startups, and won the Vodafone Startup Award. Aditi started DAZL with her co-founder Anu Chadha, who is a veteran of 25 years in the global fashion accessories industry and has built a successful fashion export house, 3A Clothing, which she started in 1995.
DAZL wearable technology is now ready in its final form and in the process of getting CE certified. Many B2B players in the connected devices space have extended hands for partnerships with DAZL.
The company will primarily generate revenue from the sale of its wearables once it is ready for commercialisation as well as licensing of its IoT module to jewellery and fashion companies that want to incorporate wearable technology. These companies can embed the DAZL IoT module discretely inside to empower the technology suited for women. The IoT module of DAZL is tailored in a modular fashion, which can be ported/swapped from one jewellery to another, explains Aditi.
"We are also seeing increasing signups for pre-booking, and we invite interested parties to sign up on our website at DAZL.io. We are in the process of launching a crowdfunding campaign and will introduce the early bird deal to those who sign up on our website as our early backers,” says Aditi.
Aditi spent nearly $75,000 from her pocket to support the company’s research and development. DAZL has two manufacturing unis, one in Southeast Asia and the other in China.
The wearables market
The wearables market in India witnessed a robust growth of 41.9 percent in Q2 2016 over the first quarter of 2016, according to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report. The total shipments in Q2 2016 were over 567,000 units. The e-commerce channel, being a preferred mode of shopping, is driving the maximum number of sales, contributing to 79.2 percent of the total shipments.
According to the report, the market for wearable devices is likely to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.3 percent, witnessing 213.6 million units’ shipments in 2020.
Wearable device vendor GOQii occupies the top position with a 16.1 percent market share, betting on its claimed USP of providing a personal trainer, as well as partnerships with diagnostic centres and doctors. Xiaomi was placed second with a 10.3 percent market share in Q2 2016, while Fitbit maintained stayed in third position with 6.7 percent.
Though DAZL is targeting the women’s segment in the wearables space, the existing players in the market have already gained significant mindshare. To compete with them in terms of pricing, features and USP may be a hard nut to crack. All one can do is to wait and watch how DAZL manages to outshine competition in the market.