Teewe maker CREO gets $3M from Sequoia, others

Bangalore-based CREO, the maker of HDMI media streaming device Teewe, said on Thursday it has secured $3 million from Sequoia Capital India, Beenext Ventures and India Quotient.

The consumer technology company, earlier known as Mango Man Consumer Electronics Pvt Ltd, will use the funds to develop a proprietary Android-based operating system and a flagship smartphone that is slated for launch later in the year.

“In the long run, we also plan to license our OS to other OEMs in India and worldwide,” said Sai Srinivas Kiran G, co-founder and CEO at CREO.

Teewe, CREO’s first product offering, was launched in September 2014. The company launched Teewe 2 in May 2015.

CREO was founded by Sai Srinivas and Shubham Malhotra in November 2013. Prior to CREO, Srinivas headed the products division at Bharti SoftBank, while Malhotra was a product manager in the same department. Sai Srinivas is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur while Malhotra graduated from BITS, Pilani.

In March 2015, Teewe secured $1.7 million (Rs 11 crore) from Sequoia Capital and India Quotient.

The company's HDMI device Teewe is seen as the Indian counterpart to Google's Chromecast. To use the device, users have to download the app on their smart TVs. Teewe is priced at Rs 2,000 and the Chromecast at Rs 3,000.

CREO’s plan to launch a smartphone comes at a time when the segment has grown rapidly over the past few years and attracted many players, both local and foreign. Google’s Android is the dominant operating system in India’s smartphone market.

Among handset makers, South Korean electronics giant Samsung and home-grown firm Micromax are the largest players. Lava Mobile and Intex are other prominent home-grown brands while Apple Inc as well as Lenovo and its Motorola unit also are expanding. A clutch of Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Gionee and One Plus have also made a mark in India’s smartphone market.

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