Mahindra to buy 23% stake in smart car solutions startup CarSense

By Binu Paul

  • 21 Feb 2018
Mahindra to buy 23% stake in smart car solutions startup CarSense
Credit: Reuters

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has agreed to buy a 22.9% stake in Carnot Technologies, which owns and operates smart car solutions provider CarSense, for Rs 6 crore (about $1 million) in a cash transaction.

CarSense’s will use the funds to bolster its product line by strengthening technology solutions.

As part of the deal, the homegrown auto major will acquire up to 1,296 equity shares and subscribe up to 6,074 compulsorily convertible cumulative preference shares, Mahindra said in a stock-exchange disclosure.

The startup was founded in 2015 by IIT Bombay alumni Urmil Shah, Pushkar Limaye, Rohan Vadgaonkar and Prathamesh Joshi. CarSense (earlier known under the brand name Carnot) is engaged manufacturing and retailing products and services related to internet-connected devices for monitoring performance of vehicles and equipment.

Its smart car device can be plugged into the OBD (on-board diagnostics) port of the car and can then be paired with the user’s smartphone through an app. The device acts as a car diagnostic solution offering users with insights on various factors including servicing prompts, safety inputs and repair alerts. It also offers GPS tracking, accident SOS alerts, performance and trip data, fuel economy update, bowing and break-in alerts, roadside assistance and rash driving notification.

The startup posted a turnover of Rs 1.2 crore in FY2016-17.

CarSense was one of the three startups selected by chipmaker Qualcomm for its 'Qualcomm Design in India Challenge' prize worth of $100,000. It also had received an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Freecharge founders Sandeep Tandon and Kunal Shah.

Last week, Mahindra picked up a 16% stake in self-drive car rental startup Zoomcar for $27.6 million (Rs 176 crore) as part of a Series C round of funding worth $40 million (Rs 256 crore).

In January, the automotive major had agreed to buy a 26% stake in MITRA Agro Equipments Pvt. Ltd for up to Rs 8 crore ($1.25 million) in cash to expand its portfolio of agricultural equipment.

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