Exclusive: Rotimatic creator Zimplistic raises $15m Series B round (Update: $11.5m Series B raised)

Credit: Rotimatic

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 Israniwho 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.

Also Read: Robots: The next growth sector in Southeast Asia?

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.

Also Read: TradeGecko raises $6.5m Series A round from NSI & Jungle Ventures

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.

This investment also sees Hian Goh of NSI Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Northstar Group, a Singapore-headquartered private equity firm, join the Zimplistic board of directors.

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.”

Related Story: EXCLUSIVE: Rotimatic creator gets Series A funding from NSI Ventures

Singapore Reporter/s

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.