Manufacturing startups shine at CeBIT, seek funds

Nearly 20 manufacturing startups are showcasing their wares at CeBIT 2015 in Bangalore with support from STPI.

Indian manufacturing startups operating in the space of vision inspection system, data monitoring and control and advanced Point of Sale (POS) solutions are vying for attention and funding at the software industry-dominated CeBIT.

Vision inspection system and self-learning system machines manufacturing startup Maxerience aims to automate quality control in dynamic manufacturing with its machines, said founder Pradeep V.S.R. Pydah.

“Maxerience takes the photograph of a perfect product (Golden reference) and compares the quality of subsequent products for quality and pinpoints defects,” he said, adding one of their clients manufactures 12,000 remote control key pads every day and employs four people to physically check for defects – a task which they have automated.

Some of the technologies deployed by Maxerience are machine learning, motion control electronics, computer vision and mechanical design among others.

Self-funded Maxerience has four customers including a Fortune 50 company. It is also selling vision inspection systems for electronics manufacturing and 3D printing companies in South Korea.

Self-funded three-year-old Data Monitoring and Control startup EMNICS makes systems for industrial data monitoring and failure detection, said its founder Jegajith P.T., saying their technology can be used by a a power plant company with operations in remote areas to monitor its machines remotely and avert failures.

Currently operating with eight employees, EMNICS aims to focus on Internet of Things (IoT) security in the future.

Easy Design Solutions is another hardware startup showcasing its Point of Sale (POS) products at India’s largest software fair.

Its founder Soundararaj R. Damodharan said, “There are so many POS machines in the market now, but many of them lack advanced features like Cloud integration, ERP integration, online report generation, remote inventory management and advanced authentication mechanism among others. These are all packed in our POS machines.”

Damodharan is seeking funding and marketing guidance from VCs, Angels and mentors.

However, one common fundamental pain point highlighted by the manufacturing startups is lack of funding and venture capital enthusiasm for manufacturing startups India.

“Everybody brags and exaggerates funding for software and e-commerce startups while ignoring manufacturing and hardware startups. The heart and soul of aMake in India’ and ‘Digital India’ is manufacturing… just check how much of funding trickled down to manufacturing startups,” questioned a hardware startup founder who did not wish to identify himself.

“I had to incorporate my startup in the US as I did not get sufficient encouragement in India. Not everybody can do that,” he added.

V. Mahadesha, additional director, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), said: “Nationalised banks like SBI and others must give collateral free funding to manufacturing startups, which should not be harassed even if they fail.”

Another reason he cited for the lack of enthusiasm is the duration it takes for a hardware startup to break even.

Like any manufacturer, manufacturing startups have to bear the expenses of power, machines, building and others to name a few.