[Funding alert] AR/VR hardware startup AjnaLens raises $1M from MHD group, others
, a Mumbai-based AR/VR hardware startup, on Thursday announced a total fundraise of $1 million in a bridge round led by Oman-based conglomerate Mohsin Haider Darwish (MHD) Group and angel investors from India.
Founded in November 2014, AjnaLens designs and manufactures state-of-the-art mixed reality glasses for defence, enterprise, and education. The startup has successfully completed 20+ pilots and received orders from the Ministry of Defence, Indian Army, DRDO, Maharashtra Government, and few private enterprises.
The startup said it will primarily use the funding for strengthening its manufacturing and fulfilling customers’ demand. It also intends to use the capital for R&D, sales, marketing, hiring talent and filing more patents.
AjnaLens has already filed 15 patents in the areas of hardware, core technology and software applications.
AjnaLens Founders (L-R): Abhijit Patil (COO), Abhishek Tomar (CTO) and Pankaj Raut (CEO)
“The growth of the AR/VR industry has accelerated due to pandemic and the focus on being ‘Atmanirbhar’ in key technologies is providing us with very interesting tailwinds,” said Abhijit Patil, Co-founder and COO, AjnaLens.
Last year, the firm secured $1.5 million in its first institutional investment by Maharashtra Defence and Aerospace Venture Fund managed by IDBI Capital Markets and Securities Limited. Previously it has attracted marquee investors like Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Japan Vyas and Nailesh Khimji.
To support the country in this pandemic, AjnaLens launched an AR-enabled smart helmet AjnaTX that scans hundreds of people within minutes and identifies potential COVID-19 threats. The smart helmet empowers front-line workers to identify temperature, people without masks, and social distancing violators from a 10-feet distance. The team at AjnaLens developed this solution working remotely during the lockdown. Currently, the startup is conducting on-ground pilots as well as receiving purchase orders.
“The combination of the very large potential of the AR / MR technology, AjnaLens’ exciting product development, strong technical know-how and outstanding customer pipeline makes them uniquely positioned to deliver on the promise of driving the ecosystem of the AR/VR industry in the APAC market,” added Mohsin Hani Al Bahrani, Director of Mohsin Haider Darwish (MHD) Group.
The startup said it is also launching its enterprise-grade mixed reality glasses by March 2021.