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Robotics Startup Genrobotics Raises Funding From Zoho To Alleviate Manual Scavenging

Robotics Startup Genrobotics Raises Funding From Zoho To Alleviate Manual Scavenging

The funds will be used to expand Genrobotics’ research and development, build large production facilities, hire talent and expand its footprint across the world

Genrobotics creates two robots–Bandicoot robots and G Gaiterrobots for manual scavenging and gait training

Genrobotics has a presence in various countries including the UK, Malaysia, UAE and South Korea

Robotics startup Genrobotics has raised INR 20 Cr from Chennai and San Francisco-based SaaS giant Zoho Corp. 

The funds will be used to expand Genrobotics’ research and development, build large production facilities, hire talent and expand its footprint across the world. The startup will further deploy funds to increase its exports to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) markets.

With the current fundraising, Zoho and Genrobotics aim to alleviate manual scavenging in India and provide safety and dignity to workers in the sanitation, and oil and gas industries, as per the press statement. 

Founded in 2017 by Vimal Govind MK, Nikhil NP, Rashid K and Arun George, the Kerala-based startup creates robots for manual scavenging and gait training. Its primary robot– Bandicoot helps clean confined spaces such as sewers, sewer wells, stormwater manholes, oily water sewers (OWS) and storm water sewers (SWS) in refineries. 

Bandicoot, which replaces human scavengers, is currently being used in smart cities, urban local bodies (ULBs), refineries, multinational companies, townships and housing colonies across 14 states.

Genrobotics’ second robot – G Gaiter helps people recover from paraplegia through gait training. Following the ‘make in India’ initiative, the startup designs and manufactures its robots in India.

“In order to end manual scavenging in India, more than one lakh robots will be required. As we scale to fill the need gap, we estimate the creation of nearly five-lakh jobs across the country.” Govind said. 

Genrobotics has a presence in various countries including the UK, Malaysia, UAE and South Korea. The startup previously secured INR 2.5 Cr in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Unicorn India Ventures, along with Anand Mahindra and SEA Fund.  

Founded in 1996 by Sridhar Vembu, Tony Thomas and Sreenivas Kanumuru, SaaS giant Zoho Corp is a bootstrapped company. The company currently employs over 12K people and has converted Chennai into the country’s new SaaS hub. Besides, it manages the Zoho University and Trainer’s Central, an LMS for trainers. 

In The Maker’s Summit 2022, Vembu shared that his company has a great audit team that works on due diligence. He, as a CEO, focuses on bringing businesses, while his audit and legal teams ensure complete ownership over the company controls.

Denying the IPO plans, Vembu said, “We could actually be a public company with the controls that we [Zoho] have, but we choose to remain private.”

Zoho lately posted a 29% growth in its consolidated revenue in the FY20. It clocked a revenue of INR 4,385.99 Cr in the last fiscal year (FY20) against INR 3,410.74 Cr revenue it made in FY19. 

In the meantime, according to a report, India’s robotics market is expected to reach 11,760 units by 2025, expanding at a CAGR of 14.41% between 2020 and 2025.

Further, there are a few funding announcements that have happened in the recent past in this segment. Examples include GreyOrange, which raised $110 Mn; CynLr, which raised $4.5 Mn, and Haber, raising $20 Mn.

Besides, acquisitions have also kept the segment buzzing simultaneously. We had reported about Zomato acquiring a 16.66% stake in food robotics Mukunda Foods for $5 Mn while Reliance Retail acquired a 54% stake in robotics startup Addverb Technologies for $132 Mn.

Furthermore, IISc-led AI and robotics technology park ARTPARK is presently launching a $100 Mn venture fund for AI and robotics startups.  

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