TV remote app Sensara gets funds from ex-Google executive, Bangalore firm

Bangalore-based Sensara India Pvt Ltd, the developer of an app that enables smartphones to function like TV remotes, has raised an undisclosed amount in early-stage funding from former Google India executive Lalitesh Katragadda and little-known Bangalore firm Gana Yantrika Systems Pvt Ltd. 

"India has 150 million set-top boxes and 150 million smart phones, but the two do not acknowledge each other. Most phones do not have InfraRed emitters, so we decided to build affordable accessories that give power to your mobile phones," Bharath Kumar Mohan, founder and chief executive of Sensara, said in a LinkedIn post. He did not respond to a query for details.

Sensara’s app, called Sensy, organises information from the TV and makes it searchable. It uses InfraRed emitters on high-end Android phones to convert them into remote control devices. Sensara, which was founded in 2014, supports all cable operators and works with about 50 different channels. The team has also created, a platform that informs TV watchers of channels that are running ad breaks at a given point in time.

Katragadda, who was Google’s country head for products, recently invested in BetterPlace Safety Solutions Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based startup that uses data analytics to perform background verification. 

Mohan, a former Google employee, has a doctorate in computer science and information retrieval from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He had founded HiveFire, a content feedback system; Dhiti, a content recommending widget for publishers; and data mining startup Insieve before starting Sensara.

Internationally, there are several apps such as ASmart Remote, Sure Universal Remote and iRule that turn smartphones into TV remotes.

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