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L to R: Saurabh Vij and Abhinav Saksena, co-founders, Curie Labs

Exclusive: Blockchain incubator Satoshi Studios invests in Curie Labs

09 May, 2017

Southeast Asia-based blockchain incubator Satoshi Studios has made its first investment in Delhi-based energy analytics startup Curie Labs, the incubator’s spokesperson told VCCircle.

Satoshi Studios, which was launched in December 2016, provides startups $50,000 in funding for an 8-15% equity stake as part of its incubation programme.

Besides, it will offer a three-month intensive residency programme in New Delhi, where entrepreneurs can interact with founders of other blockchain startups and industry experts.

“We are targeting startups that are building products and providing solutions using blockchain. Each selected startup will have an option to work out of our facility in Delhi NCR, India, where we offer complete infrastructural support (office space and living space),” Harmeet Singh Monga, programme manager at Satoshi Studios, explained.

Curie Labs will use the funds for product and sales. “For the first 6-12 months, we will be focussing on getting good recurring revenue and then invest in bigger products using artificial intelligence and machine learning,” Saurabh Vij, co-founder of the startup, said.

Curie Labs, operated by Delhi-based Predictive Labs Pvt. Ltd, helps building owners and malls save on power. The firm’s platform uses a mix of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, machine learning and analytics to provide users with real-time insights and actionable recommendations on their energy usage patterns. According to the startup, a typical facility or mall requires $100,000 (Rs 65 lakh approximately) worth of power per month. Curie can help them save up to 15% of that energy, which means savings of up to $15,000 (Rs 10 lakh approximately) per month.

Curie Labs was launched this year by Vij and Abhinav Saksena. Prior to establishing the startup, Vij founded connected wearables and devices startup GTI (Green Tech Innovation) Labs. He was previously a scientist at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and was a project scientist at IIT-Delhi. Saksena, on the other hand, earlier co-founded address sharing platform Maptags and was also a research associate at Berkeley Lab.

The startup implements blockchain for security. “There are two points here – one is data access and the other is access to grid. With blockchain, we are able to give controls back to a few stakeholders. In the US, one of the hacker groups hacked the national grid and took control of it. Blockchain helps make the system secure,” Vij explained.

Curie Labs, which is running pilots at large facilities like malls and hospitals in Delhi-NCR, works on a recurring revenue model. “There is an initial capex as it involves a lot of sensors. Then there is SaaS-based monthly recurring revenue. In some cases, we are taking a percentage of the saving. For example, if we help a customer save Rs 20 lakh a month, we will get 10-15% out of that every month,” Vij explained.

The initial capex will vary depending upon the size and structure of the premise, he added. For a large jewellery store, the capex could be somewhere around Rs 30,000 while a big mall may have to shell out anywhere around Rs 12 lakh.

The firm is also looking to get universities, cold storages, and retail stores, which have centralised cooling and heating systems, on board as customers. “We are targeting any facility spending upwards of Rs 50-60 lakh on power per month,” he added.

Initially, the startup aims to establish itself in Delhi NCR and then expand to other metros such as Mumbai. It aims to work with nearly 250 facilities by the end of this financial year.

Another startup that operates in the same space is Gurgaon-based Zenatix Solutions Pvt Ltd which, in February this year, raised Rs 8 crore ($1.18 million) led by pi Ventures with participation from existing investor Blume Ventures. It offers an energy management analytics platform that uses a mix of hardware and software. The firm claims that it helps building managers save more than 10% on their energy cost.

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Exclusive: Blockchain incubator Satoshi Studios invests in Curie Labs

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