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Hero Electronix buys energy management startup Zenatix; Blume Ventures exits

Hero Electronix, set up by Hero Group in 2015 to tap emerging digital opportunities, on Tuesday said it has acquired energy management startup Zenatix Solutions Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount. As part of its fourth acquisition in a little over two years, Hero Electronix bought out all investors including Blume Ventures and Pi Ventures.

Reflecting on the deal, Blume Ventures founder and managing partner Karthik Reddy said, "It is a decent exit. Cannot complain." However, he refused to divulge further details.

The acquisition comes more than a year after Gurugram-based Zenatix, an Internet of Things (IoT) startup, had raised funds worth Rs 8 crore ($1.18 million) in a round led by Pi Ventures in February 2017. Existing investor Blume Ventures had also participated in the round.

With the acquisition, Hero Electronix is looking to invest Rs 300-400 crore in IoT including consumer products, which it plans to launch later this year, founder-director Ujjwal Munjal told TechCircle. He added that while the overall outlay is Rs 1,200 crore for investments, Hero had already invested Rs 350 crore.

"We are looking at more than Rs 1,000 crore business in three to four years from IoT. For Zenatix, we are looking at over 100,000 deployments including those in international markets. Zenatix is strong with customers in retail and banking. Their solutions make systems more intuitive by collecting relevant and intelligent data," Munjal said. He added that Hero plans to widen the reach of Zenatix by foraying into Southeast Asian markets, which face challenges similar to those of the Indian market.

Hero Electronix and Zenatix plan to work together to introduce new solutions to existing clients and enter new segments like hospitality and logistics through the deployment of IoT and emerging technologies.

Hero Electronix had looked at more than 100 startups before acquiring Zenatix, Munjal said. "Zenatix has married hardware with software, which can provide analytics and artificial intelligence through the data collected from the connected devices. They already had customers and were present in 1,500 locations," Munjal said.

As sensors get cheaper, Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies) expects India to have more than two billion IoT devices by 2020. Improving data connectivity and vast amount of real-time data are seen as bringing efficiency to industrial operations.

Zenatix

Founded in 2013 by IIT-Delhi engineers Rahul Bhalla, Vishal Bansal and Amarjeet Singh, Zenatix provides an energy-management analytics platform that helps managers save more than 10% on their energy costs. The platform does so by using intelligence gained from real-time data. It monitors electronic equipment like ACs, ATMs, etc.

“The Indian IoT market is still at a nascent stage; we aim to scale up to the next level,” said Zenatix chief executive Bhalla.

Zenatix's current customer base includes banks, ATM management companies, retail chains and quick-service restaurants. Zenatix analyses over 10 million data points every hour and delivers significant value in areas such as predictive maintenance and consumer-experience analytics.

Hero Electronix

Hero Electronix’s investments include engineering firm Tessolve Semiconductor Pvt. Ltd; Malaysia’s Spectrum Integrated Technologies Sdn Bhd, which makes printed circuit board; and the test lab business of Singapore’s Lynxemi Pte Ltd. In 2015, Hero Electronix acquired MyBox Technologies, one of India’s largest multi-operator manufacturer of digital set-top boxes in the country. In 2016, it bought the Indian operations of TES DST Holding Europe, a German electronics design services company.

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