IAN invests in cold chain monitoring startup TagBox

Bangalore-based cold chain monitoring startup TagBox has raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Indian Angel Network and the IAN Fund, a company statement said.

IAN members Naveen Gupta and Dinesh Goel led the round, the statement added.

TagBox Solutions Pvt Ltd provides cold chains Internet-of-Things-based central monitoring system, advanced analytics to manage inventory, and automation to control operations and augment personnel.

The startup offers its cold chain solutions to pharmaceuticals, packaged goods industry, dairy companies, retail stores, hospitals, and restaurants.

TagBox said it plans to utilise the funds for product development, filing patents and global certifications for its entire tech stack, the statement said.

“There is no doubt that technology has given cold chain monitoring a significant boost and the space is growing at a rapid pace. We strongly believe that the solutions provided by TagBox not only differentiates from other players but also has the potential substantially develop the future of India’s food waste management," said Gupta.

The startup was founded by Adarsh Kumar, Saumitra Singh and Sameer Singh in 2016. Kumar, a MICA alumnus, worked at Mu Sigma before starting TagBox. Saumitra, an IIT Bombay alumnus, worked at several startups including semiconductor manufacturer Cosmic Circuits and solar energy startup Innorel Systems and holds nine US patents. Sameer is an IIT Madras alumnus and previously worked at semiconductor design and manufacturer Texas Instruments, Cadence Design Systems and Cosmic Circuits.

“We believe that IAN’s experience and in-depth knowledge would provide a significant boost to our quest to cost-effectively and reliably tag every single box that carries cold chain products, monitor its health real-time and predict and prevent cold chain failures," Kumar said.

According to a report by research firm Markets and Markets, the cold chain monitoring market is expected to grow from $3.11 billion in 2015 to $6.23 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 9.84% between 2016 and 2022. The report also finds that the cold chain monitoring market in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at the highest rate between 2016 and 2022 on the back of the growing demand for food, increase in population relying on medication, and rapid urbanisation.

However, almost 40% of India’s total food production is lost in transit, wasted by consumers or damaged (according to the United Nations Development Program), and nearly 80% of medicines produced lose their potency due to inferior temperature controls during transport.

Globally, the cold chain industry is a $10-billion market; however, the ecosystem is riddled with inefficiencies, according to Kumar. The current solutions are primarily ‘hardware’-oriented and provide raw telemetry data to organisations in formats that can be barely used with limited historical data storage.

In April this year, IAN marked the first close of its fund at Rs 175 crore. VCCircle had exclusively reported in February that fund had received a commitment of around Rs 200 crore and also had a greenshoe option of Rs 100 crore.

IAN’s Rs 450 crore fund invests in sectors including healthcare and medical devices, software as a service, marketplaces, fin-tech, big data, artificial intelligence, and hardware. While almost one-third of the fund was earmarked for co-investment, almost two-thirds will be allocated for subsequent rounds at investee companies. The rest of the money will be deployed at firms where IAN members are not investors. Together, IAN and the IAN Fund (plus co-investors) would invest approximately Rs 1,500 crore in 160 odd companies over the next four years.

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