Acquires Hyderabad-Based Fission Labs R&D; Appoints UX & Cloud Expert Kishore Poreddy as Head of Peel India
‘Make in India’ program fosters “perfect environment” for Global R&D Collaboration
Just days before the much-anticipated visit by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Silicon Valley to focus on supporting innovation & technology in India, Peel, Mountain View, Calif.-based makers of the world’s most popular smart remote, announced they are acquiring the Cloud R&D division of Hyderabad-based Fission Labs which will now become Peel India. With a three-year sales growth of 1607%, Alibaba-funded Peel ranked 287 among the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies this year.
A key player in smart home control, Peel has been working on a variety of cloud computing projects with Fission Labs over the last few years. As a result of this acquisition, the founders of Fission Labs, specializing in high end, scalable cloud-based solutions, data analytics, web and mobile applications, cloud management and testing services, along with about 30 software engineers will become part of Peel in India. As an AWS Preferred Partner, this technology group formed one of the most competent and experienced teams on Amazon Web Services in India.
“Asia and South Asia, particularly India, are very important growth markets for us,” said Thiru Arunachalam, CEO and cofounder of Peel, which has 125 million registered users of the Peel Smart Remote app that brings universal remote control and intelligent content discovery to smartphones. A Wharton Business School graduate, Indian-origin Thiru started his career at Apple as an engineer and product manager, where he helped author the first Mac OS X build system.
“We’re big believers in the Make in India initiative which has created the perfect environment to set up a local entity to help us innovate more effectively for the global market,” added Peel cofounder and Chief Product Officer Bala Krishnan who holds engineering degrees from the University of Madras and University of Arizona and spearheaded the acquisition.
Peel offers a “full stack” solution to help smartphone manufacturers introduce IR remote control to their products, including SmartIR™ firmware, hardware sourcing, cloud services and the Peel Smart Remote app. Several Indian phone manufacturers and distributors, including Alcatel OneTouch, Celkon, Karbonn, Panasonic, and Xolo, have already integrated the Peel solution into their phones, along with HTC, TCL and Samsung.
“This is an exciting time to be doing R&D in India,” said Fission Labs CEO and cofounder Kishore Poreddy, who will become the Head of Peel India. “Peel’s user base in India and globally is doubling every nine months and we look forward to playing a major role in ensuring continued future growth and innovation, particularly in the area of cloud scalability,” added Poreddy, who ranked 327 from among 200,000 candidates in the coveted Indian Civil Services entrance exam, before moving on to become a technology-driven serial entrepreneur and a globally recognized expert on user experience (UX) and complex cloud-based products.
Peel makes it easy for Indian consumers to switch to a smartphone remote because it works with all popular brands of TVs and air conditioners sold in India, and 600 set-top boxes, including those from Airtel, Tata Sky, Dish TV, Hathway, DEN and Siti Cable. For Indian consumers, Peel features TV listings from WhatsOnIndia.
In addition to being used to control TVs, set-top boxes and other entertainment devices, the Peel Smart Remote app is also optimized to control hundreds of brands of air conditioners and heaters, with more smart home devices planned for the future.
The company now has offices in the US, China, India, and South Korea, and this acquisition brings the company’s total headcount to about 100 employees worldwide.
Peel was founded 5 years ago by Bala Krishnan, an engineering graduate from the University of Madras and Thiru Arunachalam, who holds an engineering degree from the National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli. Fission Labs was founded almost eight years ago by Poreddy and Eswar Lingam, who met at Hyderabad’s Osmania University while doing their undergraduate studies.