[Funding alert] Zoho backs robotics and AI company Genrobotics

This marks the technology giant’s seventh investment in Indian deep-technology startups
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Chennai-headquartered technology company Zoho Corporation has announced that it is investing Rs 20 crore (approximately $2.6 million) in Trivandrum-based robotics company, GenRobotic Innovation. Genrobotics develops robotics and AI-powered solutions for hazardous working conditions.

This marks Zoho’s seventh investment in Indian startups. Prior to Genrobotics, Zoho had invested $5 million in Bengaluru-based Voxelgrids, which builds Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners in India, in September 2021. 

The company had also deployed $10 million across nearly five deep-tech startups over the years including automated visual inspection company Zentron Labs, medical device maker vTitan, publishing company New Horizon Media and fab-less semi-conductor company Signalchip, according to media reports. Zoho along with TVS Motor Company has also backed electric vehicle maker, Ultraviolette Automotive

"We have backed a variety of companies and this would be the seventh. We are not actively scouting for investments, and these happen because the founders of these companies share a philosophy similar to Zoho," Sridhar Vembu, CEO and Co-founder of Zoho Corp told YourStory.

The investments are part of Zoho’s initiative to nurture the tech ecosystem in India. “Nurturing a thriving deep-tech ecosystem in India is one of Zoho’s priorities and the investment in Genrobotics is a continuation of that commitment,” said Vembu, in a statement issued by the company.  

Genrobotics was founded in 2015 by Vimal Govind MK, Arun George, Nikhil NP and Rashid Bin Abdulla Khan. The company’s flagship product is the Bandicoot robot which helps clean confined spaces such as sewer manholes, sewer wells, storm water manholes, oily water sewers and storm water sewers in refineries. The company has also ventured into the healthcare space with the launch of G Gaiter – a robot-assisted gait training solution for recovering paraplegics. 

“Building such technological competencies and critical know-how locally can help  foster sustainable growth across key sectors, like industrial manufacturing, healthcare, and  energy, in turn making the country economically stronger and self-reliant,” said Vembu.

He added, “Making this a reality requires focused, long-term investments that support home-grown deep-tech startups through intensive R&D and engineering phases, and enable them to bring their ideas to the market. Looking at how far they have come already in this journey, Genrobotics' vision resonates with us  at Zoho and we are happy to fast-track their efforts and support them in their mission to end manual scavenging.”

Recently, Zoho’s enterprise IT management arm, Manage Engine, said that it will hire 1000 Indian employees by the end of 2022 with plans of doubling revenues over the next four years. 

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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