Early-stage investor Inventus Capital Partners, which backs Indian and US startups, has placed a bet on Bengaluru-based AptEner Mechatronics Pvt. Ltd, which makes and sells motorcycle riding and safety gear under the brand name BluArmor.
Inventus, along with venture fund Kitven managed by Karnataka Asset Management Company Pvt. Ltd, has led a Rs 10 crore ($1.4 million) Series A round, according to a press statement.
The newly infused capital will be used by the company to launch new products.
“We have a slew of feature-rich products in the pipeline and this capital will enable us to rapidly bring them to market, expand quickly and strategically,” said AptEner chief executive P K Sundararajan.
AptEner has in the past one year launched products such as BluSnap, claimed by the firm to be world’s first snap-on cooler that retro-fits in full-face motorcycle helmets; and BluRydr, a travel companion app that auto-creates shareable travel stories.
BluArmor competes with the likes of travel gear startup RoadGods, which had raised $100,000 (around Rs 67 lakh then) from startup accelerator Green House Ventures.
In May 2018, VCCircle had reported that Inventus was set for the first close of its India-only venture capital fund.
Inventus typically leads the first institutional round in startups in the digital services sector, particularly in consumer and business software and technology-enabled services. Its investment sweet spot is in the $1-5 million range.
Between 1993 and 2006, Inventus backed 65 US companies in addition to Indian firms, according to its website. Of the total 91 companies, Inventus has exited 51 firms with a 36% gross pooled internal rate of return and an average holding period of five years.
Some of the portfolio companies of Inventus have been able to attract strategic interest from international players. Inventus exited bus-ticketing venture redBus when it was acquired by South African media conglomerate Naspers’ Indian arm, ibiboGroup. In 2011, another portfolio company, offshore developer Sierra Atlantic, got scooped up by Hitachi Consulting.