Smartron eyes $25 million funding in next quarter
Smartron India, an Internet of Things (IoT) startup which counts Sachin Tendulkar as an investor, on Thursday launched a convertible tablet PC and a smartphone, and is looking to raise $25 million in the next quarter from domestic as well as global investors, as it plans to take its products and services to Middle East, Russia, and South East Asian markets.
Founded by Mahesh Lingareddy, Narsi Reddy Posham and Rohit Rathi, the IoT startup recently received strategic investment from cricket legend Tendulkar, who is also the brand ambassador of the company.
It is currently also funded by Indian and global corporates, angel investors and financial institutions.
Both Lingareddy and Posham are also associated with Soft Machines, while Rathi is the co-founder of Notion Ink, the company behind the Adam tablet.
The company has so far spent $10 million towards the research and development of its products and services, and is planning to spend $100 million over a period of 24 months, CEO and co-founder Mahesh Lingareddy told ET. “As we plan foray into new geographies, and new products, we will need more funds.”
The company has already received multiple orders for its convertible tablet from enterprises, and it will start shipping it starting April this year.
It is planning to tap the IoT opportunity and will come up with smartphones, high-end ultrabooks, and a number of IoT devices such as smart routers, smart bulbs, smart cameras, and wearables. Smartron, which hopes to emerge as a global premium tech products brand from India, will launch high-end ultrabooks and several IoT devices in the second half of 2016. Lingareddy said that the company will have two launches every year, with one focused on hardware, and other on the platform.
Smartron has also built a cloud-based platform, Tron.X, which will connect all these IoT products to offer Smart Home like services in coming months. The platform will also offer personalized entertainment, professional services and communications services that can be accessed across devices using cloud.
“Some of the services are developed by us, while some we have aggregated from third-party providers,” Lingareddy said, adding that the company is also planning to develop its own Android-based operating system that will power smartphones.
The company has also built its data center in India to support its services. “Our retail customers will get unlimited cloud service, which will come bundled with the device, while enterprise customers will get AWS-like cloud service,” Lingareddy said. He added that the data center can already support a million users.
The company has tied-up with Foxconn and Wistron as manufacturing partners. Wistron is producing tablets and Ultrabooks, while Foxconn will make smartphones.
It has already roped in a few domestic original device makers for the manufacturing of smart routers and cameras.