Technology firm Smartron is raising up to Rs 250 crore from investors in the US and the Middle East as it looks to expand its bouquet of products, including smartphones and an electric scooter. The Sachin Tendulkar-backed firm has previously raised about Rs 150 crore from investors in the US and the Middle East.
“We are closing another Rs 200-250 crore, some of which is already closed. This (funding) has come in from some sovereign funds in the Middle East, investors from the US, corporate investors,” Smartron founder and Chairman Mahesh Lingareddy told PTI. He added that the funds will be utilised in building an ecosystem of Internet-connected devices that would include smartphones, smartbands, home security products and an electric two-wheeler.
This would put Smartron in competition with the likes of Xiaomi and LeEco who are also trying to bring in ecosystem products that connect with Internet. For example, a smartband can help the user track health parameters like heart rate and sleep pattern, which in turn can be monitored through a smartphone.
Xiaomi, through companies that it has invested in, has introduced products like smart air purifier and smart rice cooker. LeEco had also said it was working on a smart electric car. Smartron today launched its new smartphone — srt phone — priced at Rs 12,999 onwards. The smartphone, which is the third device in Smartron’s portfolio, will go on sale today on e-commerce platform Flipkart.
“We are not looking at just getting smartphones from China and then dumping it in the Indian market. Instead, we want to build an ecosystem. We will introduce about eight more devices in this fiscal,” Lingareddy said. He added that this year, the company aims to garner revenues to the tune of USD 100 million.
Speaking at phone launch event, former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar said he had requested the Smartron team to come up with a smartphone for everyone without compromising the “core” performance. “This is another opportunity for me to engage with all who have given me much over the years including the second innings of my life,” he said. The Android Nougat-powered srt phone features a 5.5-inch display, Qualcomm processor, 4GB RAM, 32/64GB internal memory, 13MP rear and 5MP front camera and 3,000 mAh battery.