IoT-based security solutions firm Openapp nabs fresh funding
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Open Appliances Pvt. Ltd, which operates internet-of-things security solutions startup Openapp, has raised fresh funding to strengthen its push into the business-to-consumer (B2C) market.

The Bengaluru-based startup said it has raised $500,000 (Rs 3.76 crore at current exchange rates) from early-stage investment firm Unicorn India Ventures, an existing investor in the company.

Openapp–founded by Gotama Gowda– had been active in the business-to-business (B2B) segment since its inception in 2015. It entered the B2C market in November last year with its smart padlock range, followed by smart door locks. As part of this push, it will also roll out an end-to-end software ecosystem for home management.

Gowda said the entry into the B2C segment was a “natural progression” for the company. However, it didn’t anticipate that a majority of its customers would come from smaller towns such as Khatima in Uttarakhand, Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh and Nanour in Bihar, he added.

Unicorn managing partner Anil Joshi said Openapp’s entry into the B2C market was validation of the fact that consumers were looking to change established habits regarding the security needs and processes.

Unicorn is an early-stage investor whose portfolio includes companies like ChitMonks, micro-lender SmartCoin and rental platform GrabOnRent. The firm launched its debut fund in 2017.

In February last year, Unicorn and the Karnataka government’s venture capital fund KARSEMVEN took part in a $1.3 million (around Rs 8.5 crore) pre-Series A funding round in Openapp.

Openapp had raised seed funding from Axilor Ventures and Zoho co-founder Kumar Vembu in November 2017. Both Axilor and Vembu also took part in the company’s pre-Series A round last year.

Openapp says that its consumer products have been bought from over 350 cities and that its online business has recorded a 60% month-on-month growth following the easing of restrictions in the lockdown imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The company says it is also aiming to break even over the next 12-18 months.

The company says its B2B operations involve working with large players in sectors such as logistics, e-commerce and telecommunications. It claims that its locks have been deployed at over six lakh locations.

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