Unicorn India Ventures backs 3 Kerala-based startups, partners with KSUM to promote entrepreneurship in State
GenRobotic, SectorQube, Perfectfit are the selected startups that raised seed funding from Unicorn India
Mumbai-based VC fund Unicorn India Ventures on Tuesday announced that it has three investments in Kerala-based startups – GenRobotic, SectorQube and Perfectfit Fashion. The fund has been actively exploring investment in Kerala, after partnering with Kerala Start-Up Mission (KSUM), which is also an investor in Unicorn India.
With the State government’s backing, KSUM is aggressively promoting entrepreneurship in the state aligned to the vision of Startup India and Unicorn India is at the forefront to provide strategic guidance and financial support to Kerala’s fast-growing startup story.
It invests in early-stage startups working on business ideas, spanning sectors like consumer, enterprise, healthcare, ESDM and deep technology domains. These investments are made from Unicorn’s first fund launched in 2015 with investments across 10 startups made over the last two years.
Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures, says, “Kerala is the hotbed for growing startups in the country today. State government-backed accelerator KSUM is working aggressively with the industry experts to nurture the startup ecosystem in the State, and we are excited to partner with KSUM in fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship by way of investing and mentoring the Kerala-based startups, which is core to Unicorn India.”
GenRobotic was founded in 2015 by Rashid Bin Abdulla, Vimal Govind MK, Nikhil NP and Arun George. The team specialises in powered robotic exoskeletons with remote-controlled humanoid robotic systems and artificial intelligence, in order to find the best solution for socially important issues.
Vimal Govind, Co-founder, GenRobotic, says, “We are working towards a mission to use robotic technology to eliminate manual labour from areas like sewer cleaning which results in 9,000 – 10,0000 deaths every year. The funds raised from Unicorn India will aid us in developing a market-ready version of Bandicoot and meet our commitments to the clients that we have signed.”
The company has also received a grant from Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited to further research in the area and develop Bandicoot, a product under design to build an automatic robotic system for manhole and sewer cleaning to eliminate manual scavenging. The seed round raised from Unicorn India will be used for achieving product-market fit and strategic hiring. The company also plans to foray into international markets like the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Started in 2011, SectorQube, was founded by six passionate engineers – Sabarish Prakash, Nibu Alias, Ani Abraham Joy, Arjun S, Midhun Skaria, and Biniyas VL – B Tech students at Toc H Institute of Science and Technology (Kochi). Over the years, the company has worked on making smart kitchen appliances and is working on next-generation Roti Maker. The funds raised will be used to complete the Roti Maker and make it market-ready. SectorQube also has international expansion plans where the Indian diaspora is strong.
Nibu Alias, CEO and Co-founder, SectorQube, says, “Our company is at a phase where infusion of funds from the right investor like Unicorn India can accelerate our growth and help us gain the first-mover advantage. Our ongoing work on a smart kitchen appliance and an IoT platform needs funds to scale up the platform. It is at this very right and crucial point that Unicorn had decided to come on board. This will be hugely beneficial for our future journey. We plan to use the funds to fast track our R&D and begin tooling and manufacturing the product.”
Perfectfit Fashion is a Kochi-based startup that specialises in 3D body scanning systems for fashion and healthcare industry. The Perfectfit Fashion 3D scans the user to generate exact body measurements that are used to cut apparels pattern from fabric sheet. Their highly evolved scanning systems produce the final apparel in a fraction of time taken by conventional manufacturing techniques. Perfectfit Fashion has raised seed funding from Unicorn India Ventures and will be used for product enhancement and customer acquisition.
Eobin George, Co-founder, Perfectfit, says, “We are excited to have found a passionate and like-minded investor like Unicorn India Ventures. The seed round will help us deploy our first commercial product line – Perfit Uniform Solutions – this year. We also plan to double our team strength, set up a new development centre and fast-track our research and development."
The three startups are under KSUM, which will be helping them with critical operational responsibilities like scaling up, tapping new markets, product pricing and placement. The joining of hands of Unicorn India and KSUM is likely to inspire confidence among other budding entrepreneurs in the State.
Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM, says, “The State government is committed to building a proactive startup ecosystem by extending financial and strategic support to the startups in the State. It is under this vision that we have partnered with Unicorn India Ventures, making it the first early-stage venture fund to invest in startups in Kerala. We are hoping to work even more closely with the team to help them identify other potential companies here.”