Facilio, an IoT startup that focuses on facility management software, announced today that it has raised a $6.4 million Series A led by Tiger Global and returning investor Accel. The funding will be used to expand further in India, where Facilio has an office in Chennai, the United States and the Middle East, as well as enter new markets. Facilio is also one of the first new Indian companies Tiger Global has added to its portfolio since hitting pause on new investments there in 2015. Led by Lee Fixel, Tiger Global was among the many venture capital firms that poured money into early-stage Indian startups in 2014-2015 before uncertainty about growth and valuations dampened the funding frenzy. Funding began picking up again this year, but this time the focus is on more mature companies like Swiggy and Zomato. Tiger Global hit a home run when one of its Indian investments, FlipKart, was acquired by Walmart earlier this year and recently reportedly closed a new $3.75 billion fund to focus on India, the U.S. and China. Founded in 2017 by Prabhu Ramachandran, Rajavel Subramanian, Yogendra Babu and Krishnamoorthi Rangasamy, Facilio’s software helps commercial real estate property owners keep on top of regular maintenance, make sure things like air conditioning systems and elevators are functioning properly and lower their energy consumption. In a press statement, Fixel said, “On a global basis, facilities management services and energy spend by buildings each account for more than a trillion dollars. I am optimistic that Facilio can be a true disruptor in this industry.”
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Presenting onstage today in the 2018 TC Disrupt Berlin Battlefield is Indian agtech startup Imago AI, which is applying AI to help feed the world’s growing population by increasing crop yields and reducing food waste. As startup missions go, it’s an impressively ambitious one. The team, which is based out of Gurgaon near New Delhi, is using computer vision and machine learning technology to fully automate the laborious task of measuring crop output and quality — speeding up what can be a very manual and time-consuming process to quantify plant traits, often involving tools like calipers and weighing scales, toward the goal of developing higher-yielding, more disease-resistant crop varieties. Currently they say it can take seed companies between six and eight years to develop a new seed variety. So anything that increases efficiency stands to be a major boon. And they claim their technology can reduce the time it takes to measure crop traits by up to 75 percent. In the case of one pilot, they say a client had previously been taking two days to manually measure the grades of their crops using traditional methods like scales. “Now using this image-based AI system they’re able to do it in just 30 to 40 minutes,” says co-founder Abhishek Goyal. Using AI-based image processing technology, they can also crucially capture more data points than the human eye can (or easily can), because their algorithms can measure and asses finer-grained phenotypic differences than a person might pick up on or be easily able to quantify just judging by eye alone. “Some of the phenotypic traits they are not possible to identify manually,” says co-founder Shweta Gupta. “Maybe very tedious or for whatever all these laborious reasons. So now with this AI-enabled [process] we are now able to capture more phenotypic traits. “So more coverage of phenotypic traits… and with this more coverage we are having more scope to select the next cycle of this seed. So this further improves the seed quality in the longer run.” The wordy phrase they use to describe what their technology delivers is: “High throughput precision phenotyping.” Or,…
Nations worldwide are finding opportunities, one way or another, to invest their business in India’s emerging economy. If you’re wondering what’s enticing the world to do business in the South… Read more » The post Why Canadian Companies Need to Tap Into The Indian Market appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.
Berkshire Hathaway has reportedly agreed to buy a stake in One97, the owner of India’s largest digital payments service Paytm . This would mark the first time the investment firm has invested in an Indian startup. According to Indian financial news site Mint, which first broke the news, Berkshire Hathaway, the investment firm headed by Warren Buffett, is set to buy shares worth about $300 million to $350 million, at a valuation of about $10 billion to $12 billion. Another report in Bloomberg says Berkshire Hathaway will acquire a 3% to 4% stake in One97. Paytm’s investors already include SoftBank, which led a $450 million round in Paytm earlier this year, and Alibaba. Already India’s largest digital wallet and payment service with 230 million registered users, Paytm has recently focused on adding a host of new mobile services that could potentially turn it into a WhatsApp competitor, including a messenger and games. A spokesperson for One97 declined to comment. TechCrunch has also contacted Berkshire Hathaway.
Cashify, a company that buys and sells used smartphones, is the latest India startup to raise capital from Chinese investors after it announced a $12 million Series C round. Chinese funds CDH Investments and Morningside led the round, which included participation from Aihuishou, a China-based startup that sells used electronics in a similar way to Cashify and has raised more than $120 million. Existing investors, including Bessemer Ventures and Shunwei, also took part in the round. This new capital takes Cashify to $19 million raised to date. The business was started in 2013 by co-founders Mandeep Manocha (CEO), Nakul Kumar (COO) and Amit Sethi (CTO) initially as ReGlobe. The business gives consumers a fast way to sell their existing electronics; it deals mainly in smartphones but also takes laptops, consoles, TVs and tablets. “When we began we saw a lot of transaction for phone sales moving from offline to online,” Manocha told TechCrunch in an interview. “But consumer-to-consumer [for used devices] is highly opaque on price discovery and you never know if you’re making the right decision on price and whether the transaction will take place in the timeframe.” These days, the company estimates that the average upgrade cycle has shifted from 20 months to 12 months, and now it is doubling down. With Cashify, sellers simply fill out some details online about their device, then Cashify dispatches a representative who comes to their house to perform diagnostic checks and gives them cash for the device that day. The startup also offers an app which automatically carries out the checks — for example ensuring the camera, Bluetooth module, etc. all work — and offers a higher cash payment for the user since Cashify uses fewer resources. A sample of the Cashify Q&A for selling a device Beyond its website and app, Cashify gets devices from trade-in programs for Samsung, Xiaomi and Apple in India, as well as e-commerce companies like Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm Mall. Used device acquired, what happens next is interesting. The startup has built out a network of offline merchants who specialize in selling used phones. Each phone it acquires is then sold (perhaps…