Chennai-based Vortex Engineering Pvt Ltd has raised Rs 37 crore from a string of investors including Tata Capital and existing investors Aavishkaar Venture Management, Bamboo Finance and Venture East as a part of the current planned round of Rs 50 crore.

The company provides low power consuming ATMs tailor-made for semi-urban and rural areas. The company’s Gramateller ATMs are built on R&D in collaboration with IIT Madras.

Vortex is led by entrepreneurs and IIT alumni, L Kannan (founder and CTO) and V Vijay Babu (CEO).

It has names like Ray Stata (founder and chairman, Analog Devices), Jean-Philippe de Schrevel (chairman, Oasis Fund), Arun Diaz (management consultant and former head of Programme & Change Management at Standard Chartered Bank), on its board.

It specialises in rural ATMs, which operate in locations in remote regions, at a lower cost compared to a conventional ATM while safeguarding on the security and functionality of a traditional ATM. It holds patents for the indigenously designed and developed Gramateller Duo ATM.

The company has deployed more than 400 rural ATMs for State Bank of India, and is deploying ATMs in rural and semi urban locations for other banks including Catholic Syrian Bank, IDBI Bank, Corporation Bank, etc.

Spark Capital was the exclusive advisor to this transaction.

Early this year International Finance Corporation had said it is planning to invest up to $2 million in Vortex Engineering for a minority stake. Incidentally, IFC has also committed money for some other Aavishkaar managed funds.

Aavishkaar Venture Management is a venture capital firm focused on India’s rural areas and bottom-of-the-pyramid space. It recently made the first close of its new fund at $62 million within nine months after its launch.

The new investor Tata Capital invested out of Tata Capital Innovations Fund that is registered with SEBI as a domestic venture capital fund. The Fund focuses predominantly on technology led innovations which represent breakthrough, fundamental/incremental change in technology or process. It is a sector agnostic fund and can invest across all stages viz. start-up, early, growth and mature.

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