Angel investors exit Tonbo Imaging as the Bangalore-based firm completes Series A round

5 Aug, 2013

The angel investors who had funded imaging technology firm Tonbo Imaging Pvt Ltd, which develops products for defence space, have exited their two-year old investment in the Bangalore-based firm with multibagger returns as the company completes its Series A funding. For more details click here.

In October last year, Tonbo, which develops imaging technology for armed forces across the globe, said it is raising Rs 34 crore ($6.4 million) in a Series A round from Silicon Valley-based VC firm Artiman Ventures. The funding round has now been closed, as per a press statement. In 2011, Tonbo had secured $500,000 from Mumbai Angels.

Set up in 2007 by Lakshmikumar, a BITS Pilani and Carnegie Mellon University alumnus, Tonbo develops intellectual property for products that sense, analyse and control complex environments. Tonbo's systems allow soldiers to see during day and night, through fog and foliage, and do real-time interpretation of battlefield environment. Its applications also include surveillance—sensing automobile collisions before they happen.

Tonbo, which caters to the defence and homeland security markets in India, the Middle East, the US and Africa, is also planning to expand its product suite in India. "There are only a few companies in the imaging and optics markets in India and most of the technologies used in the optics and imaging spaces are being imported. Now, we are scaling up our product suite in India to make sure that people don't depend too much on foreign markets for security products," said Lakshmikumar.

The company, which has 15 patents awaiting approval, has a 20-member engineering team. It has offices in Singapore and Palo Alto in the US as well. Its key customers include Europe's largest defence contractor BAE Systems, auto parts maker Visteon Corp and Autoliv Inc, the world's largest maker of automotive air bags and seatbelts.

This may rank among the more profitable investments by members who are part of Mumbai Angels. Three years ago, they had also exited their investment in InMobi when Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures invested in Series A funding, according to VCCEdge, the financial research platform of VCCircle. InMobi was also among the early deals for Mumbai Angels, which has invested in more than 50 companies over the last seven years. There have been a few other recent exits such as the acquisition of Exclusively.in Inc by Myntra.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)