Titan has announced that it has acquihired Hyderabad-based Hug Innovations. Speaking at a product launch event on Tuesday (February 11), Titan CEO- Watches & Accessories S Ravi Kant said that the Hug Innovations team of 23 employees along with the founder Raj Shekhar Neravati joined Titan on January 1.
Post-acquisition, the Hug Innovations team will form the Hyderabad development centre for Titan and help with the right expertise in hardware, firmware, software and cloud technology. The company said that it will also get the advantage of access to Hug Innovations’ consumer platform and IPs that are extremely relevant in Titan’s wearables journey.
Hug Innovations’ Neravati has been appointed as the AVP and Head of Technology for Wearables, Titan Company.
Founded by Raj Shekhar Neravati in 2014, Hug Innovations offers an IoT wearable Hug Smartwatch that employs gesture control for various activities like playing music and so forth. The smartwatch tracks users’ food intake, water intake along with different activities performed throughout the day. Its nutrition dashboard gives the total calories burnt for the day.
In June 2017, Hug Innovations had raised $5 Mn in Series A funding round during a live instant funding event organised by TiE Hyderabad – The Guardian Angel.
Addressing Inc42’s queries on the acquihire, Titan’s Kant said that the investment is not in terms of technology. “We already have a team and a complete ecosystem. Brands are very aggressive. We are the largest retailer in the company.”
“Titan does not have a wide experience with acquisitions. We acquire only when we cannot develop it in-house or our capability will take time and we may miss the market,” said Kant.
Titan made the announcement at the launch event of its next-gen smartwatch called Titan Connected X. The watch boasts of features like a 1.2” full-colour touch screen with analogue hands, activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, find phone, camera control, sleep tracking, weather, calendar alerts and customisable watch faces, music and selfie control on the go. The price of the watch is INR 14,995.
Titan has earlier invested $5 Mn in wearable IoT firm CoveIoT and had been looking into wearable IoT segment. While the future largely counts on the marrying IoT, deeptech with ML, AI and big data analytics, and given that IoT still has low penetration in the Indian market, definitely a big untapped market for IoT startups which are able to customise their services in accordance with the local demand.
[With inputs from Suprita Anupam]