IoT smartgrid startup Probus raises seed round from Unicorn India Ventures

IoT smartgrid startup Probus raises seed round from Unicorn India Ventures
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New Delhi-based IoT smartgrid automation startup Probus Smart Things has raised an undisclosed sum in a seed funding round from venture capital firm Unicorn India Ventures.

The startup, which develops integrated hardware software solutions for utility providers, will use the capital raised in this round to scale up its IoT platform and enter new geographies, it said in a statement.

The investment in Porbus marks Mumbai-based Unicorn’s fourth bet since March this year from its second India-specific early stage fund, the statement said. The fund was launched in July last year with a final target corpus of Rs 400 crore. Prior investments from the fund include SaScan, ChitMonks and Finin.

Probus’ solution digitizes the distribution grid through analytics and automation, which it claims enabled electricity companies to restore electricity faster after power disturbances and offers reduced management costs.

“The distortions in the power sector have cost the Indian economy $86 billion in 2016 alone. Current technologies like SCADA are expensive and not scalable in terms of the size and complexity of India's electricity distribution grid,” Probus co-founder and CEO Anand Singh said.

Probus was co-founded in 2015 by Anand Singh, chief commercial officer Sunny Kumar Jadoon, and chief financial officer Ankit Vaish.

While Singh and Jadoon are alumni of IMS Engineering College, Ghaziabad, UP, Vaish is an alumnus of Delhi University. 

Prior to founding Probus, Singh worked as a technical engineer at abrasive products company 3M India, while Jadoon and Vaish had their own biotechnology startup called Sunny Corporation, which deals with biochemical products for healthcare and lifesciences. 

Singh added that the IoT solutions would help in making last mile connectivity in the grid more reliable while also reducing operating costs.

The solution can help grid companies with real-time visibility of asset performance, root cause analysis, as well as predictive and preventive maintenance through sensor data. It will also help with scheduling and tracking of employees on-field.

“This is a service that isn't just pertinent in India but will fare well in the rest of the South East Asian market and Europe as well,” Unicorn managing partner Anil Josh said. 

From its $16-million Fund I, Unicorn India Ventures, founded by Joshi and Bhaskar Majumdar, has invested in 18 companies, including neo-banking platform Open Bank, automated scavenging platform Genrobotic, cybersecurity startup Sequretek and online lending platform SmartCoin.

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