Hitachi arm invests in industrial IoT startup Flutura
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Industrial internet of things startup, Flutura Decision Sciences and Analytics, has raised $1 million (Rs 6.52 crore) in a fresh round of funding from an arm of Japanese conglomerate Hitachi Ltd, two persons in the know told VCCircle.

The Bengaluru-based startup’s valuation rose 90%, as a result of the investment by Hitachi High-Tech Solutions Corporation, one person said. The company is likely to have been valued between $45 million and $47 million (Rs 293.4 crore and Rs 306.42 crore), the other person said.

It is not clear whether this round is part of a larger funding round. Also, it could not be ascertained whether this is a strategic investment by Hitachi High-Tech.

Hitachi High-Tech is already one of Flutura’s partners for product and market-access support, along with Dell, IBM, Microsoft and SAP.

E-mails seeking information on this round did not immediately get a response from Hitachi High-Tech as well as Flutura founders Raman Krishnan and Derick Jose.

Flutura had last raised $7.5 million (Rs 50.2 crore) in a round led by Singapore-based venture capital firm Vertex Ventures, a subsidiary of Singapore state investor Temasek, in February 2017. Lumis Partners as well as existing investor and Big Data startup fund The Hive had also participated in that round. As a result of the funding then, the company was valued at $25 million (Rs 160 crore valuation).

Established in 1987, Hitachi High-Tech Solutions Corporation is a group company of the Tokyo-headquartered conglomerate Hitachi Ltd. It operates in four business segments: Science and medical systems, electronic device systems, industrial systems and advanced industrial products.

Founded in 1947, Hitachi Ltd has global business interests in 11 segments that include information and telecommunication systems, social infrastructure, high functional materials and components, financial services, power systems, electronic systems and equipment, automotive systems and railways.

Flutura, operated by Flutura Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd, was launched in February 2012 by Jose, Raman and Srikanth Muralidhara. The company’s flagship product, Cerebra, is a machine-to-machine analytics platform that helps in the extraction and analysis of embedded machine data. The company’s product has applications in oil and gas, smart buildings, telecom, industrial engineering, machine-heavy verticals, and others.

The company also provides industry-specific solutions in the form of Cerebra Nano Apps.

Flutura runs operations in Palo Alto and Houston (the US), Tokyo (Japan) and Bengaluru. Its clients include Henkel, Stewart & Stevenson, and Sodexo, among others.

The internet of things (IoT) is a still a nascent space in the Indian tech ecosystem yet to pick up steam in terms of funding. Flutura is among the most significantly funded startups in the space.

In January this year, Mumbai-based IoT startup Faclon Labs Pvt. Ltd raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from investors including Vish Sathappan, director at Brand Capital; Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL); and Sameer Sainani, response director at BCCL.

In December last year, founder and chief executive of IoT startup HexOctane, had said that his firm was in early talks to raise $2-2.5 million in a round led by San Francisco-based venture capital firm Emergent Ventures.

In 2016, Pune-based Altizon Systems Pvt. Ltd, which operates a technology platform for developing industrial IoT solutions, raised $4 million (Rs 27.2 crore) in a Series A round led by Wipro Ventures and Lumis Partners.

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