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Progress Report: Here’s How Our Top Hardware Startup Picks Of 2015 Fared This Year

Progress Report: Here’s How Our Top Hardware Startup Picks Of 2015 Fared This Year

As the curtain closes on another exciting year, we at Inc42, like always, pause for a while to look back, contemplate, analyse, predict and come up with our series of year-end stories that would perfectly sum up the past year, offer near-perfect predictions for the next year (our predictive algorithm is top-notch), and progress reports. This article is a part of this endeavour.

Justin Bieber once famously said, “Now that I’m on top, everyone wants to bring me down. Everyone’s trying to tug at me and take my spot.” You don’t have to be a “Belieber” to realise that staying on the top can be tough. You sacrifice precious blood, sweat and tears to reach the pinnacle but, it takes much more than that to sustain your position. There’s competition around every corner, eyeing your coveted position. Last year, we came up with our list of the top 14 hardware startup picks of 2014. These startups proved their mettle last year and therefore claimed the top positions.

This year, we revisit these startups to understand if these startups kicked ass this year or fell flat on their asses. This article is a progress report of the top 14 hardware startups that proved their mettle in 2014 – let’s see how they performed in 2015.

Ather Energyather

Founded In: 2013

Founders: Swapnil Jain, Tarun Mehta – the management remains the same

Funding: It has raised 3 rounds till date – first round was for $80K, second was for $1 Mn in December 2014 (Sachin and Binny Bansal) and third round was for $12 Mn in May 2015 (Tiger Global).

Location: Chennai

Ather Energy, a Chennai-based startup is working on their e-scooter which they claim to be 20 percent lighter than petrol scooters and can go from zero to 60 kmph in 11 seconds, with a top speed of 75 kmph.Smart vehicles are in vogue given today’s scenario. The company aims to collaborate these concepts.

Current Stage: Operational

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: Ather will launch the product (an electric scooter) next year so currently there are no revenues.

Growth in terms of clients & users acquired since 2014: NA

Current team strength vs. last year’s: The team has grown from 12 people last year to 85 people today. “Most of the hires are in engineering/design and over the last few months a significant bit of experience has joined the team across teams,” stated Tarun.

Fin/ Now NeyyaFinRobotics

Now called Neyya, it is a tiny hardware product that you can wear on your thumb as a ring and it will make your whole palm as a gesture interface. It can uniquely recognize each segments of the fingers and can convert your palm into a numeric keypad. It is a Bluetooth enabled device that can be connected to three different digital world gadgets like Smartphones, Smart TVs, Automobiles, and Home automation devices providing multiple device compatibility. It uses Bluetooth for Communication with connected devices.

Neyya was finally launched in November this year after a long delay and partial pivot in terms of  design and functionality.

Founded In: 2012

Founders: Rohildev N

Funding: Angel funded by Dr. Ritesh Malik of Guerrilla Ventures, raised $200K in Product Crowdfunding in March 2014 & raised undisclosed amount in Series A round from Kalaari. This year, it raised an undisclosed amount from Keyur Patel, MD of US-based Fuse Capital Inc.

Current Stage: Operational

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: NA

Growth in terms of clients & users acquired since 2014: NA

Current team strength vs. last year’s: It has a team of over 15 employees.

GOQii: Be The ForceGOQii-Logo

Founded In: February 2014

Founders: Vishal Gondal

GOQii, a smart wearable helps in tracking your steps, sleep and any physical activity. Here’s the twist, you earn Karma Points to donate based on physical activity. It makes you feel good by quantifying your physical activity and working towards a good cause, win-win.

“This has been an extremely positive year for the wearable space. A lot is happening in the sector and more and more people have started adapting to newer technology. Our key differentiator and USP is our coaching model. Each user gets a personal coach who helps them monitor the data generated. What gives us an edge is that the GOQii services are compatible with over 35 fitness tracker brands like Jawbone, Fitbit, Garmin, Polar, Misfit etc,” said Vishal.

In the coming year, the company plans to expand in the China and US markets. It has already been running a beta in US and plans to launch the commercial operations by Q1 2016.

Founded: February 2014

Current Stage: Operational.

Funding: “We started GOQii in 2014 and within our second functioning year, we have received Series ‘A’ funding of $ 13.4 Mn led by global venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from Cheetah Mobile Inc (NYSE: CMCM), Great Wall Club (GWC), DSG Consumer Partners, Ilkka Paananen and Pravin Gandhi to further accelerate our growth and expand into new markets,” said Vishal.

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: Not Disclosed

Growth in terms of clients/users acquired since 2014: Not Disclosed

Current team strength vs. last year’s: Current team strength is 100

Founders: Sumit Ranka, Vivek Mohan, Alfred Johnson

Bisko Labsbisko labs

Bisko Labs is a Kochi-based hardware startups that has created some cool stuff like automatic plotter which has an accuracy of 0.3 mm. Another product is sensor based quadcopter which uses gesture input to operate. Their latest and most revolutionary product is Intelligent Gear Transmission (IGT), which can convert any geared motorcycle to automatic geared. This technology is pending for patent and has received tremendous response.

Founded: June 2014

Current Stage: Operational

Funding: Funded by Guerrilla Ventures

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: The company has no revenues as its structuring the patent and focusing on strengthening the intellectual property first.

Also Read:  2015 In Review: A Look At The 100+ Startups That Got Acquired This Year

Current team strength vs. last year’s: From 2 members team in 2014 to 7 in 2015

Founders: Sumit Ranka, Vivek Mohan, Alfred Johnson


SectorQube, a startup based out Startup Village in Kerala, is on a mission to solve these problems and has come up with MAID (Make All Incredible Dishes or Microwave Android Integrated Device) – world’s first Android powered microwave oven. It’s a smart kitchen assistant & oven which not only knows what to cook but also knows how to cook.

The startup has come up with other products such as Crime Investigation Assist Device (CIAD), BreezeScan – detects cancer without biopsy, Market Survey Assist Device (MSAD – a surveying tool that eliminates the use of pen and paper during surveys and cool interfaces for home appliances like refrigerators and washing machines.

Founded: October 2011

Current Stage: Operational.

Funding: Raised funding from Project Guerrilla in 2015 and $123K in Kickstarter funding in October, 2014.

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: The company has increased its revenue by 125% in the last year.

Current team strength vs. last year’s: From 10 team members in 2014 to 15 in 2015

Founders: Sabarish Prakash, Nibu Alias, Ani Abraham Joy, Arjun S, Midhun Skaria, Biniyas VL and Ashwin Saju

Intugine Technologiesintugine

Founded In: September 2013

Founders: Harshit Shrivastava, Abhishek Sharma, Ayush Agrawal,Vivek kumar

Funding: Last year in october, it was in the process of raising $80K – $100K from angel investors to commercially launch Nimble.

Location: Bangalore

This Bangalore-based startup is behind the science-fiction-come-true idea Nimble. Nimble is a gesture control device that fits comfortably on the wearer’s fingertips. This gesture control technology turns the 15 feet in front of any screen into a highly interactive control area, in which your fingers can be used to magically control a screen, presentation or game. Sub-millimeter accuracy paired with incredibly low latency makes Nimble the ideal gesture control system, and the hardware expansions allow for up to eight users.

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: Last year, as of September 2014, Nimble was up for pre-order for INR 3500 with almost 150 pre-order requests from across the globe.

Current team strength vs. last year’s: It has a team of 9 people including the cofounders.

Ducere Technologieslechal

Founded In: 2011

Founders: Anirudh Sharma, Krispian Lawrence

Location: India

Lechal by Ducere Technologies, creates a hands-free navigation system through feet, guiding the wearer towards their destination through simple vibrations in their shoes or insoles.Apart from its navigation function it also counts your steps and track your calories burnt.

The company is planning to scale up and expand it operations internationally – around 70 countries. It plans to invest heavily on for R&D and come up with some more haptic-based wearables. It has also filed about 24 patents. The company is also looking to partner with an international sports brand.

Current Stage: Operational.

Funding: The company was started with $250,000 investment from the founders and in November 2013, it raised $2 Mn in seed funding from angel investors. It is looking to raise additional funds soon.

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: NA

Current team strength vs. last year’s: It has a team of 53 people.


Founded In: August 2013

Founders: Sai Srinivas Kiran G, Shubh Malhotra

Location: Bangalore

Increasing screen size of phones led to the term ‘phablets’ but no one could satiate their need of having a bigger screen to enjoy our media or games. Teewee, by MangoMan Consumer Electronics is one device which we believe can achieve this goal. It is an HDMI Dongle, which allows you to stream media wirelessly via a smartphone application to your television. All you have to do is find a TV with an HDMI port, plug it in, download the app and you are good to go! It is an alternative of ChromeCast but at half of its price.

This month, the company added torrent streaming functionality in its Theatre App

Founded: October 2011

Current Stage: Operational.

Funding: Mango Man Consumer Electronics, makers of Teewe, raised $1.75 Mn in seed funding from global venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and India Quotient Fund in March 2015.

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: Teewe is currently present in 50,000 households across India

Growth in terms of clients & users acquired since 2014: 10K users to 50K users from 2014 to 2015

Current team strength vs. last year’s: From 11 team members in September 2014 to 80 in December 2015

Mukunda FoodsMukunda

Founded In: February 2012

Founders: Eshwar K Vikas

Location: Bangalore

As the name suggests DosaMatic helps you make dosa with the help of click of few buttons.This machine by Mukunda Foods is so easy to use that it doesn’t require skilled labour to operate.All you have to do is to fill the machine batter, oil and  water. After a few pushes of a button the dosamatic gives you crisp dosa every time with no error. It also gives an option of customising the dosa as per its size and its roast.

This year, it launched for sales of consumables to go with DosaMatic. It also made huge investments towards R&D for automatic other Indian Food products.

Current Stage: Operational.

Funding: INR 1 Cr. by Indian Angel Networks in October 2013. This year, the company raised a an undisclosed amount in a Pre-Series round from its existing investors in July. The round was lead by Saurabh Srivastava & Rakesh Malhotra of IAN.

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: “We have 5x revenue this fiscal, due to increased sale of DosaMatic and increase in revenue from our batter & other consumable sales,” said Eshwar.

Growth in terms of clients & users acquired since 2014: There are 250+ DosaMatics installed currently, as compared to 40 installed last year. It has some marquee clients like Kamat Hotels, Madras Coffee House, Indian Army, and have also installed the machines in USA, Australia & UK. Each machine is priced at INR 1.5 lac.

Also Read:  2015 In Review: The Top Startup Ecosystem Newsmakers Of 2015

Current team strength vs. last year’s: “Currently we are 40 including a strong team of 10 for R&D into other products. Last year we were around 18-20,” said Eshwar.

Robots AliveRobots-Alive

Founded In: May 2009

Founders: Abheek Bose,

Funding: Started with an initial investment of INR 10 Lakh from Abheek and his friends and family. The company later acquired a soft loan of INR 10 Lakh from NDBI (National Design Business Incubator), the business incubator of NID.

Location: Bangalore

With all these apps advancing in terms of technology they still require a basic thing to work which is user input. Technology is treading on the path of being completely automated. To achieve this Robots Alive has taken a step further by incorporating a robot in their team. The company currently is in B2B domain with plans of entering B2C domain soon. Company has a sole motive to improve robotic technology India as the present technology is obsolete.

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: Its robots are priced between INR 8 Lakh to INR 12 lakh (including controllers and software and standard peripherals). It also charges consultation fees. Last year, in an interview, Abheek mentioned that the company has a target of around $2 – 3 Mn sales between 2014 and 2016. The company’s current revenue is not available.

Growth in terms of clients & users acquired since 2014: As of May 2014, it had 20 clients across India.

Current team strength vs. last year’s: It had a 6-member team last year.

The company’s website is not operational and redirects people to its Vimeo page.


Founded In: 2012

Founders: Sreekumar K.R., Nijil Y., Nidal Rashid

Funding: Guerilla Ventures

Location: Kerala

A hardware product startup formed by three computer science graduates, Mashinga builds multi-touch hardware and surface computing solutions. It leverages the technology of multi-touch and the art of human computer interaction to bring computing to new mediums. It products/solutions include multi-touch tables, interactive kiosks, and inclined or vertical displays which can be used in various sectors like Food & Hospitality, Retail, Advertising, Conventions and Information Display.

The company has currently declined to share any details about its progress.

Flip Technologiesflip tech

Founded In: January 2014

Founders: Jibin Jose, Abimanyu Nair

Location: Kochi

Flip Technologies come as a boon for all skateboard lovers. They develop tracking devices for adventure sports. Block is a skateboard tracker which used to enhance their ability to perform and analyse tricks. The device is connected to the truck of the skateboard and tracks the dynamics of the board and the data is send to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The app can determine the trick performed and help the skateboarders to improve their skills and as well as show off their skills and abilities in the social media. Device is a great learning tool too like a personalized trainer for everyone.

It is also preparing for a soft launch during CES, 2016 in Las Vegas

Funding: It has raised 185K USD in total. In August this year, it was chosen as the runner-up for the seed Investment competition QPrize 2015; Qualcomm and Accel partners co-invested $100K

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: It is still in pre-revenue stage.

Growth in terms of clients & users acquired since 2014: 136% increase in opt-ins

Current team strength vs. last year’s: From 2 team members in 2014 to 3 in 2015

Asimov RoboticsAsimovRobotics

Founded In: 2012

Founders: Jayakrishnan Thrivikraman Nair

Funding: 150K self funding + seed funding from Guerrilla Ventures

Location: Kochi, Kerala

ASIMOV is an acronym for Advanced Systems with Intelligence Mobility and Vision. ASIMOV Robotics Pvt Ltd, incorporated in April 2012, is managed and run by team equipped with over eight years of experience in conceptualizing, design, development/manufacture of various robot hardware, software and solutions applied to real life problem solving.

ASIMOV Robotics provide reliable and sophisticated systems and solutions in the areas like robotic simulation and control, machine-vision, AI, virtual reality, and navigation for the use of various market sectors such as light-duty flexible manufacturing guidance, assistance, surveillance, security, healthcare, space exploration and entertainment etc.

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: As of October 2014, the company has already registered a revenue of INR 50 Lakh. Its revenue projection for 2015 was INR 6 Cr by shipping 180 units as opposed to the 60 units shipped by the end of 2014. It’s current revenue is not available.

Current team strength vs. last year’s: It has a team of 7 people including the founder.

Piquor Technologies Pvt. Ltd./ Now RepUppiquor

Piquor Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has a flagship product “Piquor Booth” which is a touch screen kiosk that enables clicking high quality digital pictures and sending them instantly through email. It bridges the gap between outdoor media and online marketing such that a company’s “key message” is interactively delivered & spreads virally and effortlessly through social networks. Piquor has tied up with brands in Gurgaon and Bangalore and the booths have registered more 200,000 unique interactions. More than 80,000 people have shared the photos on Facebook.

The company has been rebranded to RepUp.

Industry: Marketing and Advertising

City: Gurgaon

Current Stage: Operational

Funding: $50,000 seed funding each in January 2013 and October 2014. Raised an undisclosed amount in a Pre Series A round from Indian Angel Network in November 2015.

Increase in Revenue in the past one year: Its revenue has been growing at a rate of 50% every quarter.

Growth in terms of clients acquired since 2014: The company added over 100+ hotels in India and Europe in last 6 months – including Sheraton, ITC, Deltin Casino, Galaxy.

Current team strength vs. last year’s: It has a team of 24 people across Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bangalore.

Founders: Pranjal Prashar, Vineet Chauhan and Arpit Gupta. According to Pranjal, more people from NIFT and IIT Delhi have joined the management team.

Founded In: 2011

Out 14 startups that we featured, 3 startups raised seed funding, 2 raised Pre-Series A, and 2 raised Series A funding this year. In terms of team size, 2 startups doubled their team size and one startup’s team size grew 7 times.


infocus-badgeThis is part of our special series, In Focus: 2015 In Review, wherein, we look back, contemplate, analyse, predict and come up with our series of year-end stories that would perfectly sum up the past year and offer near-perfect predictions for the next year. Stay tuned for more.

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