Chennai-headquartered WEGoT Utility Solutions, a startup offering Internet of Things (IoT)-based water management solutions to analyse and manage water consumption, on Wednesday said the company has closed a $2 million seed funding round.
A press statement from WEGoT said Kumar Vembu’s GoFrugal, Shyam Shekar from iThought, and Brigade Enterprises Ltd led the round. Vibhu Natarajan, director at Grotech Landscapes, Rajagopal S from Entrust, Joydeep Ponugoti from Manbhum Constructions, and Promod Kumar from the real estate technology and consumer industries also invested in this round.
According to the statement, the company will use these funds to strengthen its IoT-enabled product portfolio, scale its presence in India, and double its employee base in the next six months, especially in research and development (R&D), sales and marketing.
WEGoT’s sensor-based IoT device and software platform VenAqua, tracks water flow in real time. The granular data collected from various installations across residential and commercial buildings is analysed and the insights are shared with the end-users on a mobile app, the statement said.
Abilash Haridass, co-founder and chief of growth and strategy at WEGoT, told Mint, over the phone, that WEGoT was bootstrapped and profitable. “Earlier, we used to sell the product and it was a decision people had to make. We wanted to bring the decision-making time down by giving it away for free, but we would be paying out of pocket for that. So that’s why we decided to raise money," he said. The solution is now subscription based — the company gives the product free and users pay installation charges and a monthly fee.
“We will use the funds to build on the features, both on the hardware and software side, to help people save even more water. We will also invest on improving customer service, automation and on building the team," he said. The company has offices in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Lead investor Vembu, co-founder GoFrugal, in the statement said “A recent water report states that 21 of the metro cities will run out of water by 2020 and majority of the Indian water resources will run dry by 2030. Given that residential usage accounts for a large portion of India's water consumption, water is one luxury that needs to be conserved efficiently. We need a technology that will make people liable for misuse of water. WEGoT is addressing exactly this issue and we are very confident that their breakthrough technology will disrupt the way we perceive this vital resource."
Nirupa Shankar, founder, Brigade Real Estate Accelarator Program said, “According to the Composite Water Management Index report by Niti Aayog, the ongoing water crisis will severely affect India’s realty sector, even threatening developers working on major projects. So commercial buildings today need to be adapted to a rapidly transforming landscape. Incorporating data-driven efficiencies in water management solutions holds great promise in the commercial real estate sector, and we strongly believe WEGoT is positioned to disrupt this space."