Underlining its commitment to supporting entrepreneurial innovation in India, Venture Catalysts and Indian Angel Network have led a funding of INR 5 Cr in Peppermint, an industrial robot manufacturing company that makes and deploys commercial housekeeping and service robots. The round also saw participation from Vinners Group and a group of angel investors led by Mr. Naveen Kumar Kshatriya.
Interestingly, IAN has invested in a number of manufacturing tech startups and with active mentoring have built world class profitable companies. The investment in Peppermint, demonstrates IAN’s commitment to bring innovation and disruption in a sector which is the backbone of the Indian economy.
The startup will utilize the fresh capital infusion to enhance the current production facility and ramp up its production capacity. A part of the funding will be dedicated towards R&D as the company aims to spur innovation in India’s robotics sector through the implementation of advanced, cutting-edge technology offerings. Peppermint will also allocate the investment in scaling its business across India and the Middle East.
Founded by serial entrepreneurs Runal Dahiwade and Miraj C Vora, Peppermint was incubated at IIT-Bombay’s Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Pune-based start-up has built India’s first industrial floor-cleaning robot that leverages a combination of physical scrubbing, chemicals and ultra-violet light to facilitate seamless cleaning of floors. Built and designed in Pune, these robots help in automating housekeeping and service operations across industries, warehouses, airports, offices and public spaces.
Sharing his insights, Runal Dahiwade – CEO and Founder, Peppermint, commented, “We have the first-mover advantage in the commercial robotics space in India and our robots have been tested and deployed in various sectors including pharmaceuticals, logistics, manufacturing and hospitality. This fundraise will enable us to ramp up our production, invest heavily in R&D and scale the business across India and the Middle East. We are looking at aggressive growth and we have our eyes set on the European market as well. The latest investment asserts investor confidence in our value proposition and our growth potential.”
Commenting on the investment, KRS Jamwal, Lead Investor at IAN, said, “There is immense opportunity in India for technologies based on high-quality hardware assembly, with a differentiation provided by the operating system or software – with the product as a whole providing a service. Over the past few years, players in the automation and robotics market in India, leveraging cutting-edge hardware, and developing their own proprietary software, are innovating products and systems to cater to the immense and diverse demand in the industrial sector. At IAN, we are focused on supporting innovative ventures that have out-of-the-box ideas and apply their unique potential to meet the needs of society. Our investment in Peppermint Robots demonstrates IAN’s sector-agnostic approach to building sustainable companies with an impact. We are glad to become a part of their growth journey. Automating services like housekeeping in the commercial and industrial sector, which is already looking to automate labor-intensive tasks, will make the process cost-efficient and hassle-free.”
Speaking on the investment, Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, President and Co-founder, Venture Catalysts, said, “Peppermint is uniquely positioned to make significant strides in the automation and robotics industry in India. The organized Facility Management Services market in India and UAE has crossed $30 billion as of 2020 and is expected to record exponential growth in the coming years. We believe the Peppermint team is well-equipped to bank on this growth opportunity and scale rapidly on the back of its state-of-the-art, avant-garde, made-in-India robots. As one of the first-movers in the sector, the startup has an added advantage and we are thrilled to support in their journey of bringing India to the forefront of the manufacturing and production of industrial robots.”
Currently operational across India and UAE, Peppermint’s offerings include Robotic Scrubber Driers, Sweepers, Moppers, Carpet Cleaners and more. With the new investment, the company will amplify its manufacturing efforts, bolster its after-sales support infrastructure and expand its geographical footprint.