TVS Motor Co. Ltd has invested $3.85 million (nearly Rs 27 crore) in machine learning company Tagbox Solutions as part of a Series A funding round, the two-wheeler maker said.
TVS Motor said in a stock-exchange filing that it invested Rs 11.2 crore ($1.61 million) in Bengaluru-based Tagbox Solutions Pvt. Ltd and that its Singapore unit put in $2.25 million in Tagbox Pte Ltd.
The Indian Angel Network (IAN) exited with a three-fold return on its investment in TagBox. The IAN had invested Rs 3.5 crore in the startup in 2017.
This is TVS Motor’s second such investment so far in 2019; it had invested in Pune-based Altizon Systems Pvt. Ltd last month. Altizon, which develops solutions based on industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), raised $7 million in the funding round that also saw participation from The Hive Fund, Wipro Ventures and Lumis Partners.
Tagbox offers solutions to companies operating in sectors such as retail, e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, dairy, and manufacturing companies in India and the Asia Pacific.
Tagbox plans to use the funds to strengthen product innovation and R&D while expanding its global footprint. It will also continue to develop new predictive analytics and automation solutions to solve customer use cases.
Rajesh Narasimhan, CEO at TVS Motor (Singapore), said the two-wheeler maker evaluated many companies providing loT solutions in the supply chain and logistics sector before investing in Tagbox. The investment in Tagbox is part of the initial set of investments being made in strategically relevant digital startups, he said.
TVS Motor is part of the $8.5 billion TVS Group. It uses its Singapore unit to invest in digital technology startups focused on the automotive and fintech industries. TVS Group also sponsors homegrown private equity firm TVS Capital Funds Ltd, which hit the first close of its third fund in October last year.
The company has been actively making early investments in recent years, especially in technology startups and industrial technology companies that will help drive product innovation and expand its global footprint.
In January 2018, TVS Motors acquired a 5.6% stake in Condivision Solutions Pvt. Ltd for Rs 50 lakh. It later raised its stake to 29.6% in the Bengaluru-based startup that functions as an online marketplace for renting bikes.
Chennai-based TVS, which is also India’s third-largest motorcycle company by sales volume, made an additional investment of Rs 6 crore in electric bike maker Ultraviolette Automotive Pvt. Ltd as part of the firm’s Series A round. TVS had infused Rs 5 crore in the first tranche.
In June 2017, TVS had invested Rs 1.5 crore in RentOnGo, an online marketplace for renting bikes, electronics and appliances. TVS Motor had picked up a 24% stake in Bengaluru-based firm in return for the investment.
In November 2016, the TVS Group led an angel round worth $500,000 (around Rs 3.4 crore) in car service startup Carcrew.in, which is operated by Mumbai-based Carcrew Technology Pvt. Ltd.