Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has been bit by the technology bug. The master blaster has invested in a Bangalore-based Internet of Things (IoT) company called Smartron India.
Besides being a strategic shareholder, Tendulkar will also be the brand ambassador of Smartron.
“I have always been fascinated by technology. We need to support brands that are designed and engineered in India by our entrepreneurs and engineers that ably compete in the global markets,” Tendulkar said in a statement.
Founded by Mahesh Lingareddy, Smartron India Pvt Ltd designs and markets IoT devices and systems in the areas of smart, sensor, robotics, artificial intelligence, cloud and big data technologies. An OEM product platform, it is focused on bringing these solutions to the mobile, home, auto, enterprise and infrastructure markets.
Lingareddy is also the co-founder and CEO of Soft Machines Inc, a US-based semiconductor company with operations in the US, India, and Russia.
Smartron is set to launch a slew of smart devices and IoT products for consumer and enterprise markets in the first quarter of FY 2016-17.
The Union government's department of electronics and information technology, in its draft policy, aims to create a $15 billion IoT industry in India by 2020. Market research firm International Data Corporation has projected that the worldwide IoT market to touch $1.7 trillion in 2020 from $655.8 billion in 2014. With the market growing at an exponential rate, a number of IoT startups have emerged, and some of these ventures have even attracted VC funding. Earlier this month, ah! Ventures founding partner and CEO Harshad Lahoti said that it expects several IoT product startups to receive significant traction.
In February, Delhi-based IoT retail solutions provider Freedom Smart Labs Ltd raised around $145,000 in seed funding from Kapil Goel, managing director of retail chain DCS Group.
Pune-based Altizon Systems Pvt Ltd, which operates a technology platform for developing industrial IoT (internet of things) solutions, raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Wipro Ventures and Lumis Partners.
Cube26 Software Pvt Ltd raised Rs 50 crore in seed investment from Tiger Global and Flipkart in October last year.
Last year, another IoT startup Briston Technomach Pvt Ltd raised around Rs 1 crore ($150,000) in seed funding from an undisclosed angel investor.
Chennai-based Nimble Wireless Pvt. Ltd., raised Rs 3.3 crore ($500,000) from seed-stage VC firm AngelPrime.