Stride Ventures leads $3.1 mn funding round in robotics startup Miko

Stride Ventures leads $3.1 mn funding round in robotics startup Miko
Co-founders of Miko (from left to right): Prashant Iyengar, Sneh Vaswani and Chintan Raikar
12 Oct, 2020

Mumbai headquartered RN Chidakashi Technologies, which runs advanced robotics startup Miko, has raised Rs 23 crore ($3.14 million at current exchange rates) in a bridge funding round, dubbed a pre-series B round, led by Stride Ventures.

Returning investors Chiratae Ventures, YourNest Capital and former NASSCOM chairman Keshav Murugesh participated in the round, a statement said. 

The fresh capital will fund the startup’s global market push, and aid with the research and development of new products, Sneh R Vaswani, co-founder and CEO of Miko, said.

The company’s last known fundraise was in September 2019, when Murugesh led a $2.25 million round in the startup. Prior to that, it raised $7.5 million in a Series A funding round from Chiratae Ventures, YourNest Venture Capital, investor Bruno Raschle’s family office and a group of angel investors in August. 

The five-year-old company, founded by IIT Bombay graduates Sneh R Vaswani, Prashant Iyengar and Chintan Raikar, leverages artificial intelligence, robotics and internet of things (IoT) to provide emotionally intelligent solutions. 

In 2018, it launched Miko 2, an upgraded version of its emotionally intelligent robot. The companion bot aims to help children learn and keep their gadget addiction in check. 

“Miko 2 has now evolved into a powerful content subscription platform with global content alliances. We are on track to surpass the 1,00,000 user mark in the coming quarters, with Miko 2 hosting hundreds of applications and use cases,” co-founder Vaswani, also the CEO of Miko, said.

The company, which forayed into the US market last year, said it has scaled its user base in more than 90 countries. It employs 150 people in the US and India. 

It witnessed over 20% month-on-month growth in engagement during the pandemic, surpassing 70 million interactions on its platform. It also said it saw an immediate increase in demand, at a time when parents are looking for alternatives to curb their children’s screen time. 

“At Stride, it is our mission to make the credit ecosystem more accessible to startups. The investment in Miko represents Stride’s commitment to enabling frontier technologies that have the potential to disrupt the status quo,” Ishpreet Gandhi, founder and managing partner, Stride Ventures, said. 

With its investment in Miko, Stride Ventures said it looks to highlight its preference for homegrown startups showing strong company fundamentals. Stride Ventures launched its maiden fund in 2019 and plans to invest in 25-30 startups for Stride Venture India Fund I.