Tiruchy cloud manufacturing startup, Frigate, aims to be Amazon of manufacturing

Once a customer places an order, they handle everything from design to delivery.

Published: 15th April 2022 05:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th April 2022 05:55 AM   |  A+A-

Tamizh Inian, Founder of Frigate Engineering Services with the employees in Tiruchy on Wednesday. Express/ MK Ashok Kumar

Express News Service

TIRUCHY: Remember the climax of Vijay-starrer ‘Nanban’ where the heroine rides a strange-looking scooter which doubles up as flour mill? Tamizh Inian, the man behind that contraption custom-built for the movie, is now going places with his ideas as his bootstrapped startup Frigate has raised $ 175,000 (Rs 1.35 crore) in a pre-seed round.  

The cloud manufacturing company based out of Tiruchy, started last year by Inian along with his friends Vasanthan, Chandrasekar and Adithya Narayanan, was originally into building prototypes. Their first product was a camera car --- a life-size replica of a vintage camera ---- made for Vintage Camera Museum in Singapore. As more orders started coming in, the founders decided to move to cloud manufacturing.

"We moved to cloud as our customers wanted their designs to be manufactured as well. We have 150 vendors who manufacture for us,” said Inian, Founder & CEO of Frigate. Inian had done his PhD in manufacturing after completing ME in Engineering Design and has 13 years of work experience. His idea to start Frigate, which he conceived in 2012, came to fruition in 2021.

According to Inian, Frigate’s vendors spread across Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Belagavi,Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Jamshedpur, Hosur, Tiruchy, Madurai , Erode , Salem , Indore, Pithampur and Coimbatore, offer services such as 3D printing, CNC machines and fabrications for Electric Vehicle, Defence and Aerospace sectors.

Tamizh says his idea is to become the Amazon, an online marketplace, for manufacturing. Once a customer places an order, they handle everything from design to delivery. While they were able to manage everything using email so far, they are now developing an AI-enabled platform that will help them scale up their delivery model.

"We want to use the new investment to develop an AI-enabled platform which will identify the topology of the design and send it to the right machines available on our platform to manufacture the same by connecting machines via industrial internet of things (IIOT). We will also use the money for marketing
and hiring new people," adds Inian.

Frigate has exported products to Spain and Singapore and is planning to open offices in Chennai and Bengaluru. The company aims to reach $100 million revenue in three years. One of the investors, Vijay Pravin, said "Frigate has a great potential to contribute to the growing needs of on-demand custom-manufacturing services. I'm excited to back Tamizh and the team.”

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