KOCHI: Raising a whopping $5,12,718 (`3.36 crore) in 40 days for a Kochi-based start-up is a feat achieved by no other company in India. Incubated at Startup Village, Exploride - an Augmented Reality integrated Head Up Display - raised over $5 lakh through crowd-funding at the end of the funding period on October 2.
It seems crowd-funding is the way forward for start-ups in Kerala as Rs 6.29 crore was raised by four startups from the state in 19 months, Exploride being the biggest gainer.
The original target was to raise $1,00,000 but the company has achieved it in five days. Other companies which had raised money through crowd-funding from Kerala are RHL Vision Technologies, Sector Qube and Mindhelix.
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet. Crowdfunding is a form of alternative finance which emerged outside the traditional financial system.
Palakkad native Sunil Vallath and wife Parvathy started Exploride last year.
It helps to turn away the distraction by transferring the information you need from a Bluetooth-enabled device to a transparent display in the windshield. It even lets you access the information by simple hand and voice gestures. Simply, it turns your car into a smart car.
“This is a biggest achievement for Exploride. Probably, we are the highest fund raiser through crowd-funding in Asia. Discussions are under way for the mass production of the product to be delivered in January. The company is planning retail launch of the product after the pre-order campaign at `499. While we will be tapping into the potential of e-commerce in a big way, dealers from across the world, including from Africa, have approached us evincing interest. Our plan is to shift base to Bengaluru from Kochi,” said Sunil Vallath. Exploride has orders from 1,800 persons across the globe. The product is being produced in Taiwan.
Rohildev N, founder of RHL Vision Technologies which raised over $2 lakh from crowd-funding last year, says the fund-raising exercise gave them connections across the world and boosted confidence. “We will launch our product ‘Fin’ by the end of November,” he says.
“The acceptance received for Exploride is a positive sign as more start-ups from Kerala will come forward to raise fund via crowd-funding. The major highlight of the funding is that a start-up will be able to know how the response will be for their product in the market,” says Pranav Kumar Suresh, CEO, Startup Village.