Reliance Industries is going to invest $16 million in NetraDne, a vision analytics startup founded by former Qualcomm India & South Asia president Avneesh Agrawal. This has been revealed in a stock exchange filing.
The company will be making this investment through its subsidiary Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings (RIIHL) in two different tranches. The first tranche of 50% was invested on May 30 while the next tranche will be invested by May 30, 2017.
The invested is done by way of compulsorily convertible preferred shares. On conversion of this investment, RIIHL will hold about 40% stake of the company on fully diluted share capital basis. It wil receive 1.51 crore compulsory convertible preferential shares at $1.06 per share.
The company said in a statement that there are potential synergies with telecom and digital business initiatives of RIL, apart from commercialization benefits in India.
NetraDyne was co-founded by Avneesh Agrawal and David Julian and is headquartered in California. It is yet to commercially launch its operations. Avneesh, who was the President of Qualcomm India and South Asia, had exited Qualcomm in July last year after a long 21-year stint.
David Julian earlier co-founded Mountain View Analytics, a financial investment startup. Later, he worked as principal engineer at Qualcomm Research for around 12 years before co-founding NetraDyne. He had also worked at US space agency NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The company is currently in “advanced stages of product development” and is building deep learning solutions and vision analytics based products targeted at industries like fleet management, automotive, security and surveillance.
Reliance has been actively investing in startups through its venture capital arm Reliance GenNext Ventures. Till now, it has invested in around four startups, including enterprise software firm Covacsis and surveillance solutions company Videonetics.
Reliance GenNext Ventures is planning to back five or six of the second batch of 11 companies that graduated out of its four month-accelerator programme. It looks to invest up to $10 million in a startup though it has not set a limit. It has a stage-agnostic approach towards early-stage investments.