And Nadan Nilekani makes yet another investment. This time, the Infosys co-founder has chosen Mumbai based Sedemac Mechatronics, to make his biggest venture investment in a startup till date.
The latest round of funding, which was led by Nilekani with participation from existing investor Nexus Venture Partners, saw Sedemac raise a sum of $7.5 million (Almost INR 50 Crores).
Founded in 2008 by Shashikanth Suryanarayanan, Pushkaraj Panse, Amit Dixit and Manish Sharma, Sedemac Mechatronics specializes in building controls for small engines and power trains. The company was founded quite by accident when Suryanaraynan, who worked with General Electrics as a Control systems engineer, decided to explore a series of prototype projects, at the IIT Mumbai Laboratories.
I had no intention of starting a company when I came back to India.
However, that is exactly what happened.
What started as a small lab-based enterprise has now grown into a company that sells state-of-the-art, technology-intensive powertrain control products to major companies.
Don’t let the Startup tag fool you though, the company is doing pretty good business and counts the likes of Tata Motors, Mahindra Group, Ashok Leyland and TVS Motors among its regular clients.
Meanwhile, Nandan Nilekani, who by now has a significant portfolio of companies to his credit including Team Indus, robotics firm Systemantics, crowdfunding platform LetsVenture etc, has kept up the flair for introducing an element of unpredictability to his investments.
While most other significant investors — most, not all — are putting money into cab aggregators and e-commerce and other, similar startups, Nilekani is busy being part of companies that are trying to do exciting things: such as landing a Rover on the moon.
This latest investment into Sedemac is also in keeping with his philosophy of backing ideas that have the capacity to transform and disrupt the way things are usually done. The automobile sector is going through a major upheaval with consumers actually looking at things like electrically powered and smart vehicles as viable options.
Meanwhile, the company is planning to use its newly acquired funds to look at the possibility of scaling up its business.
Overall we see about 25-30 million vehicles over the next 3-4 year utilising these products. Where Sedemac goes from here is that it will continue to try and build its story to create its position as a leader for controls for small power trains
The company may also seek to expand its business into markets such as US and China.
We also see potential in US, especially in the lawnmower industry which is pretty big. Much of the usage will continue to be India, China, sort of Asia focused, but increasingly into Africa, South America, North America, soon.