Forum Synergies (India) PE Fund Managers, a private equity firm set up by former CEOs, has made its debut deal by investing Rs 15 crore or around $3 million in Captronic Systems Pvt Ltd. The Bangalore-based niche technology firm specializes in the design and development of custom automated test, control and acquisition systems for R&D, design validation and production testing.

Captronic’s products were also used for testing certain aspects of Chandrayaan-1, India's first unmanned lunar probe.

The investment has been made through India Knowledge-Manufacturing Company and Axon Capital's India Opportunities Fund, both of which are advised by Forum Synergies. The Bangalore-based private equity firm has a parallel investment relationship with Axon Capital, a Madrid-based private equity firm.

Forum Synergies MD & CEO Samir Inamdar and Axon Capital's CEO Francisco Velázquez de Cuellar have joined the board of Captronic as a part of the investment.

"We feel that Captronic is a fantastic first deal for us. We see our role as helping build scale for the business, adding systems and processes besides opening new opportunities both in sectors and geographies," said Inamdar, who was earlier chief executive at Tyco Electronics and GE Consumer & Industrial in India.

He said the debut transaction was much lower than $6-8 million, the sweet spot that Forum Synergies is going to chase in terms of investment size.

Forum Synergies had a first close of its maiden fund last year. The firm is targeting a $150 million for a sector agnostic private equity fund.

Captronic Systems was founded by Vinod Mathews, an electronics engineer by training, over a decade ago. "The idea of getting an investment was to move towards exponential growth, reach a larger domain in terms of industries and geography besides building a test system in the radio frequency (RF) area," said Mathews, who expects demand for his product to increase as devices get more complicated and customers demand more quality.

The company expects to close this year with revenues of Rs 35-40 crore and is targeting to reach Rs 100 crore in the next three years, said Mathews.

Captronic started by working with aerospace industry in its early days and then moved into automotive sector, as vehicles have started coming out with electronic equipment/features and the industry has showed growth in India. Now the firm will also start looking at sectors like industrial and manufacturing, besides moving deeper in its existing focus industries.

Captronic currently has offices in six locations in India, Middle East and USA. The company also plans to target customers in Europe going forward. It currently employs around 60 engineers, which it expects to take to over 100 in the coming years.

Captronic has worked with clients across public and private sectors. These include Bosch, Tata Motors, ABB, Siemens, Hindustan Aeronautics, Indian Space Research Organisation and Honeywell, among others.

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