pi Ventures leads seed investment in industrial IoT startup SwitchOn

pi Ventures leads seed investment in industrial IoT startup SwitchOn
Aniruddha Banerjee(Left) and Avra Banerjee, Co founders of SwitchOn
17 Jun, 2019

Industrial internet of things (IIoT) startup SwitchOn said on Monday that it has raised $1 million (Rs 6.9 crore at the current exchange rate) in a seed round of funding led by pi Ventures, a venture capital firm which focuses on deep-technology.

Axilor Ventures, the early-stage investment firm and accelerator led by Infosys founders Kris Gopalakrishnan and SD Shibulal, and angel investors from The Chennai Angels also participated in the round.

SwitchOn said in a statement that the fresh capital will be utilised for strengthening edge-compute architecture, increasing its headcount, and expanding its presence in India and other countries in the European Union and the Asia Pacific region.

Founded by Aniruddha Banerjee and Avra Banerjee in 2017, SwitchOn helps manufacturing firms identify plant-level bottlenecks and improve equipment efficiency.

The startup uses edge-computing systems to continuously analyse high-frequency data streams of vibration, temperature and energy consumption for real-time manufacturing intelligence. According to the statement, it enables industries to predict hundreds of events and take immediate action. Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and automotive are among the key sectors to which it caters.

“SwitchOn is leveraging deep expertise in hardware and software design to create state-of-the-art edge solutions for increasing transparency, reducing turn-around, and improving quality on the shop-floor of manufacturing industries to ultimately achieve operational excellence,” said co-founder Banerjee.

The startup graduated from the Axilor Accelerator Program last year. 

Lead investor Pi Ventures focuses on investments in applied AI and Internet of Things (IoT). In August last year, the firm raised Rs 225 crore ($31 million) for its debut fund, exceeding its initial target. The UK government’s CDC Group came in as a limited partner in August. 

The fund has so far invested in startups such as SigTuple, Niramai, Ten3T, Locus.sh. In May 2018, it exited energy management startup Zenatix.

In March this year, pi Ventures led a pre-Series A investment in FrontdeskAI, which develops artificial intelligence (AI) assistants for small businesses. 

Deals in the segment

June 2019: Syook, which builds real-time location tracking systems for businesses, raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Inflection Point (IP) Ventures.

May 2019: Clairco, an IoT-driven clean-tech solutions startup, secured an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed funding round through investment syndication platform AngelList.

May 2019: TVS Motor Co. Ltd invested $3.85 million (nearly Rs 27 crore) in machine learning company Tagbox Solutions as part of a Series A funding round .

April 2019: Altizon Systems Pvt. Ltd, which operates a platform to develop solutions based on IIoT, raised $7 million (around Rs 49 crore) in its Series A round of funding.