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Vijay Shekhar Sharma-Backed Extended Reality Startup AjnaLens Secures Pre-Series A Funding

Vijay Shekhar Sharma-Backed Extended Reality Startup AjnaLens Secures Pre-Series A Funding

It will utilise the funds to propel tech innovation, expand the team and customer base

It is an OEM that designs and manufactures virtual, augmented, and mixed reality glasses with utility across sectors such as enterprise, defence, and skill training

Under the Ministry of Defence’s iDEX initiative, the startup has completed user field trials of its indigenous see-through armour technology AjnaESAS to upgrade battle tanks

Extended reality and software startup AjnaLens has secured INR 12 Cr from investors LetsVenture, JITO Angel Network and other angel investors, in another round of Pre-Series A funding.

Mumbai-based AjnaLens has filed for more than 15 national and international patents in augmented reality and allied fields. According to the startup, its clients include the Indian Army, Indian Navy, DRDO, Ministry of Defence, President of India, Tata Technologies, Vedanta, L&T, Cymax Infotainment, Forster Consulting, PM Experts, VR Coating, Maharashtra State Innovation Society among others.

Founded in November 2014 by Pankaj Raut, Abhishek Tomar and Abhijit Patil, AjnaLens leverages technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) to offer mixed reality hardware, used by clients working in area of defence and education. It also offers these glasses as a tech enterprise product as well.

Announcing the investment, JITO Angel Network’s vice chairman Sunil Kumar Singhvi said, “Just a few years back, start-up companies were lagging far behind in competing with established defence companies. Thanks to the startup revolution, the Indian defence system is booming with a range of defence startups.”

AjnaLens said it has developed critical solutions for security and defence space and developed several indigenous technologies, including the iDex challenges, added Singhvi.

“We will continue to create sustainable impact by facilitating digital transformation across public and private sectors. Current projects with the Ministry of Defence’s iDEX initiative and Tata Technologies are examples of effective collaboration for lasting impact,” said Abhijit Patil, cofounder and COO, AjnaLens.

Moreover, with rapid adoption of technology, deeper internet penetration in India, terms such as metaverse would become common tech vocabulary in future, added Patil.

AjnaLens is also upgrading India’s existing MANPAD (man-portable air-defence system) by providing operators with an enhanced vision to effectively engage the target, said the startup.

Meanwhile, the extended reality startup raised funding in February 2020 from angel investors including Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm; Japan Vyas, Roots Ventures; Chirayu Khimji, Khimji Ramdas Group of Oman; Jay Jesrani, Private Equity Investor; Maharashtra Defence and Aerospace Venture Fund managed by IDBI Capital Markets and Securities Ltd, Chetan Kajaria, Kajaria Ceramics, Manish Bhatia, Bhatia Brothers UAE; MHD Group from Oman among others.

Meanwhile, there are startups such as Imaginate offering solutions for defence and medicine, among other uses. 

A few startups, leveraging AR/VR in their operations include Foyr, Absentia VR, Whodat, among others. In August 2021, edtech giant BYJU’S acquired Bengaluru-based computer vision and AR startup Whodat.

Moreover, the Indian AR and VR market stood at $1.83 Bn in FY2020 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 38.29% until FY2027.

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