Indigenous Investment Partners to empower India’s defence sector

by Apr 24, 2021Business & Infrastructure0 comments

Aligning with India’s vision to become a self-reliant nation in the defence sector, Venture Catalysts has made its maiden journey.

The Mumbai-based integrated incubator has led a $1.8 million round in defence technology start-up Optimized Electrotech (OEPL).

The funding round also saw participation from OEPL’s existing investor GVFL and other angel investors(private investors for small startups or entrepreneurs, typically in exchange for ownership equity in the company).

Founded in 2017 by Sandeep Shah, Anil Yekkala, Dharin Shah, Kuldeep Saxena, and Purvi Shah, the Ahmedabad-based OEPL defence tech start-up produces Indigenously Designed, Developed, and Manufactured surveillance systems for security forces, national assets, as well as defence and aerospace companies.

With over 100+ person-years of experience and 32 patents, the co-founding team is from IIT, IISc, ISI, or IIM and has worked with leading electronics, space and defence companies in India and abroad. OEPL has served Indian Railways and the Indian Army for Perimeter surveillance.

OEPL’s vision is to become a global leader in providing Security solutions to National & International Defence and Aerospace organizations. The company envisages to become a player of reckoning in Homeland security, Defense Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance & Machine Vision.

Talking about the first-ever investment in the defence sector, Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Founder and Managing Director of Venture Catalysts, said, “Our investment vision aligns with that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea to make India self-reliant or Atmanirbhar in the defence sector. We expect more start-ups to use technology to strengthen the country’s safety and security amidst growing threats and skirmishes on the borders. Optimized Electrotech has an immense potential to emerge as a major player in the segment.”

The start-up has already achieved several accomplishments in the last few years. It has been recognized as “Amongst the Most Innovative Start-ups of India” by the Ministry Of Defence (MOD). It is the winner of the Make-In-India for Defence Competition (IDEX) twice for the Indian Airforce (IAF) and Indian Army.

On its fundraise, Optimized Electrotech’s Co-founder and CMD, Sandeep Shah, stated, “Our mission is to provide accurate, actionable and real-time insights about your surroundings through our platforms. By 2030, Optimized Electrotech shall be amongst the global leaders in all Imaging Surveillance applications under its platforms across land, sea, air, and space. Our vision is to be the global leader in Surveillance systems, in the process making India self-reliant in its defence needs. At present, India imports 55% of its defence needs, but soon it will be a market dominated by indigenous products due to a favorable government policy.”

Shah further added that the funds would be utilized to design new-age surveillance systems, product innovations, and build more prototypes to be used in the railways sector and smart city and intelligent border projects with a market potential of $7.3 billion.

He also said that the Indian government had allocated a total of 1.35 lakh crore in the Defence Budget-2021 towards capital expenditure, including purchasing new weapons, aircraft, warships, and other military hardware showing an increase in demand for defence equipment and a market opportunity for the OEPL.

The company already has robust sales funnel worth Rs 95 crore from Indian and Foreign OEMs for the next few years.

“Surveillance is necessary for peace whether for organizations or nations. The need is increasing due to rogue forces getting inexpensive hands-on weapons across the world, and the typical surveillance systems have the observing person as to its weakest link. Therefore, most systems are used for post-facto evidence collection instead of prevention of act. This provides a great opportunity for Optimized Electrotech as smart cities and smart borders are on the lookout for advanced infrastructure now than ever before,” Shah said.

With regard to the Venture Catalysts, it may be noted that it is India’s first integrated incubator. It invests $250K – $1.5 Million in early stage.

It funds Start-ups that have potential to create enduring value for over a long period of time.

Over the last few years, it has been instrumental in developing and nurturing the country’s vibrant startup Ecosystem with a strong presence in Tier 2 & 3 markets.

Venture Catalysts brings a lethal combination of Capital, Mentoring and Business Network to help investee companies to succeed. Their innovation provides value to start-ups through its extensive angel network, funding, community, services and co-working facility.

Venture Catalysts is focussed on providing startups with access to continuous capital from fund, investor network, Tier 1 founders & CXOs, and family offices besides providing them with market access from corporates and global growth programs.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x