Zimplistic, a Singapore-based product design venture, which specialises in intelligent kitchen devices that automate cooking, has raised a $15 million series B round, according to an executive familiar with the development.
The investors who have participated in this round are German firm Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC), the venture capital arm of German engineering and electronics MNC Bosch. An unnamed local venture capital firm also participated in this round, according to the executive.
Zimplistic, founded in June 2008, is led by co-founders Rishi Israni and Pranoti Nagarkar Israni, who serve in the roles of CEO and CTO respectively. Their flagship product, the robotic Rotimatic, is an automatic roti prata maker. It was invented by Nagarkar, who found the making of roti to be tiresome and wanted to automate the process.
Rotimatic works by pulling together flour, oil and water from three hoppers, mixing them into a dough and baking it into roti prata under two minutes. According to the Rotimatic product page, it is able to work with any wheat flour brand, allows for customisation of the roti and doughballs and flour discs for poori’s.
Roti prata is a product of the overseas Indian diaspora, specifically from the Indian community in Singapore, and derives from the roti – an unleavened flat bread made from stoneground wholemeal flour that originated and is consumed throughout South Asia. A key part of Indian cuisine, it is also consumed in parts of South Africa and the southern Caribbean.
This Series B follows in the wake of Zimplistic securing a Series A investment worth more than $1 million in February 2015 from NSI Ventures.Commenting on the development, the executive quoted above said, “It is significant that Robert Bosch is one of the investors. As a large home appliances company, it means Zimplistic is gaining access to expertise and a network.”
The investment is reflective of a larger trend of multinational enterprises seeing the value of an industrial Internet of Things (IoT), which corresponds to the rise of the domestic IoT. With the outcome economy phase gaining importance as well as deeper insights into strategy, companies are shifting away from competing through selling products and services to competing on delivering tangible results that have compelling value to the customer.
The IoT facilitates providers gaining a deeper understanding of customer needs and contexts, across both consumer and business contexts. Value based on output also entails quantifying results in real time, and the emergence of IoT negates the obstacles that enterprises previously faced. Technology has served to dramatically improve business outcomes in the outcome economy, in addition to enhancing innovation.
With an information dimension that provides data for enterprises and serves to inform them of the actions of their consumers, the consumer IoT facilitates the creation of Integrated platforms that enable enterprises to develop new processes and gain insights across all lines of business while managing them from a single, open platform connecting various devices and applications.
Technology will continue to enable business innovation and transformation, as well as attract investment. Not done solely on the promise of total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits efficiencies, it will enable greater flexibility and choice. Such capabilities will provide intelligence to business executives to make informed decisions on focusing business challenges and value.
In the process, such advantages will enable organisations that utilise these capabilities to develop and evolve sustainable competitive advantages that will endure and resist major disruptions in the broader market.
Series B update
In an update to the Series B raised by Zimplistic, their series B investment investment stands at US$11.5 million (S$20.49 million), in a round involving existing investor from NSI Ventures and RBVC, according to an official statement on the investment released on 22 July 2015.
Jan Westerhues, an investment partner with RBVC and a VC Council member of the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA), noted, “Rotimatic’s cutting edge robotic technology takes user convenience in the kitchen around a conscious, healthy nutrition to new levels. We are very impressed by the Zimplistic team and happy to support the company on its way to scale up production and enter global distribution.”
With this funding, Zimplistic plans to finish the beta development phase of Rotimatic. The capital from this series B round will be used to finance the acceleration of manufacturing rollout and establish operations in international markets to fulfil the demand that’s being seen.
Commenting on the investment, Goh stated:” Zimplistic is a rare combination of a project with huge revenue potential and also social impact by increasing the productivity of millions of men and women around the world who still make flatbreads by hand.”