Mumbai-based robotics startup Emotix, which develops educational and recreational robot toys for children, has raised $7.5 million in a fresh Series A funding round.
The round was led by Chiratae (formerly IDG Ventures India), Yournest Venture Capital, investor Bruno Raschle’s family office,a and a group of angel investors comprising technology evangelists.
Founded in 2015 by three IIT Bombay alumni - Sneh Vaswani, Chintan Raikar and Prashant Iyengar, Emotix’s flagship product is Miko, India’s first companion robot, a playful robot that engages, educates and entertains kids. It has the capability to keep improving its knowledge graph over time by capturing new information. According to Vaswani, Co-founder and CEO, Emotix, it’s an interface that “aims to fulfill the gaps in a young child’s education that can be used to engage, interact and ultimately educate the child without taking anything away from a human experience.”
Emotix had recently launched second model of Miko, named Miko 2.
The Wi-Fi operated robot, Miko 2 can help parents in early child education by engaging in playful learning. Explaining the product, Vaswani said at the time of its launch that "The robot can initiate and hold long conversations with kids, impart academic and general knowledge. It is powered by a proprietary emotional intelligence engine developed in-house by emotix, enabling the robot to identify and remember the child's moods and adapt to it."
A major makeover from its maiden product, Miko 2 can see, hear, sense, express, talk, recognize faces, remember names, sense moods, initiate conversation, and learn from its own environment to develop a bond with the child. It comes with a new HD camera for face recognition, hear through active noise cancellation microphones and has edge sensors to save it from running off edges likes tables or stairs, among other sophisticated features.
Miko 2 Image source
Speaking about the company and on the funding it received, Co-founder and CEO of Emotix, Sneh Vaswani, said,
“Our company has grown over the past five years. The investment from our existing investors is a testimony of the trust and confidence that they have placed in us. We’re excited to bring our AI-driven playful learning robots to international markets as a way to meet the needs of today’s parents who seek a positive and trusted gateway of technology which also caters to the learning and developmental needs of children.”
Sudhir Sethi, Founder and Chairman of Chiratae Ventures, expressed his thrill to invest in Emotix and said Miko could cater to 20 million homes across the world by 2023.
Meanwhile, the company said that the new proceeds will be used to fuel its global expansion in North America, Middle East, and the UK. It also said that a part of it will be used for new product development and further research in the areas of emotional and artificial intelligence, which form a crucial component of the Miko emotive robot toy.
The latest Series A round came to light in July 2019 when the company raised $2.69 million from the existing investors Chiratae, Technology Venture Fund and Yournest India as part of a larger funding round. Emotix also secured $2 million in a pre-Series A round led by Chiratae and Yournest in April 2018.