Technological innovation is dependent to a great degree on ideation and collaborations.
On the sidelines of the Carnegie India’s Global Tech Summit held recently, an interaction session was organised with startups from around the country. With Japan being the partner country for the summit, the entrepreneurs got an opportunity to interact with investors from Japan and India. The startups ranged from wide areas of expertise, including financial technology, biotechnology, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and drones.
Carnegie India is the sixth international centre of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and is based in New Delhi. It has been set up to produce public policy research about critical national, regional, and global issues.
“The pitching session is Carnegie’s way to go beyond facilitating innovation through policy guidance to actually leveraging our country partnerships to help domestic innovation ecosystem find access to funding avenues and mentorship opportunities,” said Ananth Padmanabhan, Fellow at Carnegie India
Here’s a brief about the startups that pitched at the event:
ToneTag (Fintech) - A contactless payment app that uses sound waves to enable offline, proximity-based contactless payments on any device. Using encrypted sound waves, ToneTag communicates with the merchant’s Point-of-Sale (PoS) system. Founded by Kumar Abhishek and Vivek Singh in 2013.
ToneTag can be integrated with any POS system, digital wallets, or payment apps. It can work on any operating system – iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. It works on any mobile device and no Internet is required on user device at time of initiating payment.
Locus (Logistics) - Locus.sh was founded in May 2015 by Nishith Rastogi and Geet Garg, graduates from BITS Pilani and IIT respectively. Locus.sh helps enterprises to manage their deliveries through technology, including features like automated smart dispatches, tracking, fleet visualisation views, and proprietary route deviation engine.
In mid-2016, it raised $2.75 million in Series-A funding. The round was led by Exfinity Venture Partners with participation from Blume Ventures, BeeNext, Rajesh Ranavat, MD, Fung Capital and other existing investors.
Flutura (Internet of Things) - Big data analytics and machine-to-machine communication -
Flutura provides insights to drive industrial outcomes, based on their capability to interpret machine signals from connected assets and connected processes. The company leverages machine signals in the engineering and energy industry, to power new monetisable business models.
Founded in 2012 by Krishnan Raman, Derick Jose, and Srikanth Muralidhara, it has operations in Palo Alto, Houston, Tokyo, and Bengaluru.
Earlier in the year, it had raised $7.5 million (approximately Rs 51 crore) in a Series-A round led by Vertex Ventures. The round also saw participation from Lumis Partners and existing investor, The Hive.
Tagos - Tagos operates an in-video platform called Charmboard that makes videos interactive. For instance, a user can touch any object on a streaming video, be it a person, dress, a piece of furniture or an accessory, without interrupting the visual. That particular object is bookmarked and saved automatically and can be accessed by the consumer after watching the video to cull out more details about the object.
Tagos was founded in 2013 by G B S Bindra, along with Tripat Preet Singh, a former executive at venture capital firm NEA-IndoUS Venture partners and Sushant Panda, former chief executive officer and managing partner at Havas Worldwide.
Earlier, this year it raised $5 million in a Series-A funding round from a venture capital firm and two global corporations.
Ridlr (Transportation) - Mumbai-based public transport app Ridlr, developed by Birds Eye Systems. Birds Eye Systems has a patented algorithm that captures live movement on the streets through GPS-installed probes. Using this as base data, Ridlr app provides real-time information on road blocks, diversions and cancellations to help users choose a mode of transport. Birds Eye Systems’ flagship product Traffline helps users choose best directions to their destination.
Founded in 2009 by Ravi Khemani and Brijraj, Ridlr had $6 million in a Series B round from Times Internet and Matrix Partners and Qualcomm Ventures.
Skylark Drones - Started up in 2014 by Mughilan Thiru Ramaswamy and Mrinal Pai, the company offers enterprise drone solutions and data analysis. The services are offered to companies in real estate, land survey and inspection, advertising, and sports events. Other services that Skylark offers include: aerial photogrammetry (creating 2D and 3D topographical maps using photography and other techniques) and surface mapping.
Aarav Unmanned Systems - Founded in 2013 by Nikhil Upadhye, Suhas Banshiwala, Vipul Singh and Yeshwanth Reddy, AUS offers solution in the industrial and agricultural asset management space leveraging drone technology.
Earlier last year, it had raised an undisclosed amount from StartupXseed Ventures, 3ONE4 Capital (a family fund of Mohandas Pai), The Phoenix Fund and HNIs including, Ashok Atluri and Sanjay Jesrani.
Nimble Wireless - Founded by Siva Sivakumar and Naveen Sabhapathy, Nimble Wireless connects industrial assets to cloud and gathers intelligence to monitor, control and manage them through wireless sensors.
The company provides IOT SaaS (Software as a Service) products to consumers and businesses and helps them keep their pets safe. It’s vertical-focused product portfolio in wireless hardware along with its cloud-based IRIS application helps it cater to multiple verticals such as transportation, logistics, cold chain management, green energy, and healthcare industries.
Nimble Wireless has so far raised around $1 million in funding from Prime Venture Partners and other investors.
Team Indus (Aerospace) - is a Bengaluru-based private aerospace startup, attempting to launch a spacecraft on the moon. It is among the five finalists in the $30 million race to the moon, under the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. It invites privately funded teams to place a spacecraft on the moon’s surface, travel 500 metres and transmit high definition video and images back to earth.
The investors include Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys, Rajiv Mody, CMD and CEO of Sasken Communication Technologies, Subrata Mitra and Shekhar Kirani, partners, Accel Partners and Sharad Sharma, co-founder, iSpirit. Investments have been made in their private capacities.
Uncanny Vision - Uncanny Vision was founded in 2013 by Ranjith Parakkal. The Bengaluru-based startup has developed an optimised AI-based computer vision solution for smart surveillance cameras to provide real-time alerts.
It has two products namely
- UncannyCV (Traditional Computer Vision algorithms) – a computer vision/image processing library optimised for Cortex-A series ARM processors.
- UncannyDL (Deep Learning-based Vision) – an on-device deep learning library for mobile and embedded applications.
Bugworks - Bengaluru-based Bugworks is working towards finding a solution to the huge public health crisis caused by antibiotic resistance and superbug infections.
The company, formed in February 2014 by Santanu Datta, V. Balasubramanian and Anand Anandkumar, is looking for a drug that can fight ESKAPE pathogens: Enterococcus faecium, which causes neonatal meningitis; Staphylococcus aureus, which leads to respiratory infections; Klebsiella pneumonia, which weakens the immune system; Acinetobacter baumanii, which also weakens the immune system; Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes pneumonia; and Enterobacter, which causes urinary infections.
Earlier this year, it received an initial investment of up to $2.6 million from CARB-X, a public-private initiative established last year to support the global development of novel antibacterial drugs that address multidrug-resistant (MDR) infections.
Ezedox - provides Digital Locker Repository service, eSign and workflow management. Enables document collaboration for Business to Business/Individual, like NDAs, contracts signing using digital signatures. The company was founded by Veerendra Mishra, Vaibhav Jain and Premanand Mohapatra.