Ojas Venture Partners, the $35-million early stage venture fund floated by N S Raghavan (one of the founding members of Infosys), has invested an undisclosed amount in hardware product startup RiverSilica Technologies. The Bangalore-based firm is developing a product which provides solutions for accelerating video streaming delivery in a device-agnostic way for enhancing user experience.
RiverSilica, which is in the last leg of product development, lowers the cost of video delivery to content distribution networks (CDNs) and content owners. The company has been founded by serial entrepreneur Jagannathan Balaji, who started the firm 24 months ago.
Balaji said the funds from Ojas will be used for capital expansion and customer expansion. The company plans to work with some customers to conduct trials for the product.
While Balaji said there are other companies that are addressing the same problem as RiverSilica but the cost of implementation and investment required have been bringing down the returns on investments. RiverSilica’s product, which will work as an add-on or also inside a chip as a ‘soft id’, will bring down these costs. The company plans to file patents down the line as it develops its product.
Bangalore-based RiverSilica also has a 12-member team which includes PhDs, semiconductor engineers and software engineers with average experience of 10+ years.
Balaji started a company called Purple Vision Technologies Pvt Ltd, which was backed by Citi Venture Capital. Balaji said, Citi VC made a decent exit from the investment and Purple Vision was acquired by TES Electronic Solutions in 2005. Purple Vision was later spun off into the semiconductor business of TES-PV Electronic Solutions and acquired by Mindtree in 2007.
Ojas has backed several IP product startups in India and this deal will be its seventh disclosed deal. Ojas reportedly made a 70% IRR on its exit from its investment in Bangalore-based Mango Technologies Pvt Ltd, which sold a few of its products to Qualcomm Incorporated, the world’s largest wireless semiconductor company. Mango offers games and middleware for low-cost cell phones.
Other portfolio firms include Ziva (mobile answer engine); Telibrahma (marketing through mobile channel); Tyfone (which is in mobile financial services); CoCubes.com (campus recruitment website) and Arigami Semiconductor Systems.