This is a slightly unusual deal in the venture capital space. Bangalore-based IDG Ventures India is not just an investor, it is playing incubator to ConnectM, a start-up spun off this June from telecom firm Sasken Communication Technologies. ConnectM wants to leverage Sasken’s expertise in communications to offer solutions in the areas of transportation, industrial equipment and utility services.
Kumar Prabhas, CEO, ConnectM.
The company’s technology platform will enable machine-to-machine communication in real time (where a device or a machine part can send information to other devices or to a central database) over a cellular network. In automotives, for instance, information can be sent in real time to a fleet management centre. “While there are companies working on such solutions in a limited way, it has not been offered across verticals like we plan to,” says Kumar Prabhas, CEO, ConnectM.
Sasken brainstormed with partners from IDG Ventures in October 2006 to come up with the focus for the company. The group evaluated five areas and zeroed in on this one after extensive research. “We are reaching out to entrepreneurs through the companies in which they work, thus making them partners in the venture,” says Sudhir Sethi, vice-chairman and managing director, IDG Ventures India. Sethi, in his earlier role as general partner at Walden International, had backed MindTree Consulting and Techspan, from incubation stage.