Open App raises seed funding from Axilor Ventures, ZOHO co-founder
Photo Credit: Manni Das/VCCircle

Bangalore-based Open Appliances Pvt Ltd, a startup which makes smart locks for firms, has raised $550,000 (Rs 3.6 crore) from seed fund Axilor Ventures and Kumar Vembu, co-founder of Chennai-based enterprise-tech firm ZOHO, a company statement said.

This is the startup’s first round of external funding.

The company will use the funds to strengthen its product offering and expand into new verticals, the statement added.

Open App’s smart lock solution acts as a Wi-fi access point, emitting its own signal, which enables a smartphone in a remote location to connect to its network and then operate it. Open App claims that its solution does away with duplicating physical keys while providing a company’s management with detailed dashboards on employee access.

“We have great validation and partners in Axilor and Vembu who come with decades of experience in building companies of scale. With this round of funding, we plan to solidify product-market fit,” Gotama Gowda, co-founder and chief executive of Open App, said in the statement.

Open App was started in November 2015 by Gowda, Rajshekar Jenne and Siddhesh Keluskar. Gowda is a graduate of Christ University, Bangalore. Jenne has a master’s in management from Lancaster University and Keluskar is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

“Open App’s solution can be ported to a wide variety of industries and applications. We are excited about the new market opportunity being created by a category leader,” said Payal Shah, head of investments at Axilor Ventures, in the statement.

The company claims to have a revenue pipeline of $2 million for this financial year and has received more than half of the amount.

Open App targets industries such as warehousing, retail chains, logistics and cash logistics companies, telecom firms and internet service providers, real estate firms, oil and gas firms, educational institutions and hospitality.

The company is also set to file patents for close to half a dozen innovations around their hardware design, the statement said.

Axilor Ventures is led by Infosys co-founders Kris Gopalakrishnan and SD Shibulal.

In August this year, Axilor, which also has an accelerator, announced the graduation of its fifth batch of startups. Half of these startups have already secured funding, Axilor said, adding that the average size of the fundraise was Rs 2.5 crore. The total amount of funding raised by this cohort is Rs 32 crore (about $5 million).

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