Mark Mobius makes angel investment in Mumbai engineering startup Entropy Innovation
03 June 2015
Mark Mobius, executive chairman, Templeton Emerging Markets, has made a personal investment in personal capacity as an angel investor through Mumbai-based ah! Angel, which was the sole advisor to the transaction.
An undisclosed sum was infused into Entropy Innovations, a Mumbai engineering technology startup, as angel capital through ah! Ventures, a startup focused growth catalyst bridging ideas and money.
The angel investors from ah! Ventures, together with Mobius and AdvantEdge Incubator partnered to fund the startup. The deal was solely advised and syndicated by ah! Ventures and led to closure on its private equity investment platform, CLUBah.com.
Founded in early 2013, Entropy Innovations Pvt. Ltd. is an engineering innovations company that designed and manufactured automatic motorcycle wash machine called 'Express Bike Wash' that addresses problems faced by individual owners and service stations.
The machine is capable of washing even the dirtiest of motorcycle within 2-5 minutes. Starting with a few retail touch-points in Mumbai under the name – 'The EBW Store' and a few installations at service centres, the brand has catered to roughly 100,000 motorcycles over the last 18 months.
''Washing a motorcycle is an integral part of its ownership, says Niraj Taksande, co-founder of Entropy.
Taksande explains, "A whoping 15 million new ones were added nationally to the existing lot last year. Our streets are flooded with them. A host of players offer wash-related products. However, there are barely any organised players for wash and related value added services. Through The EBW Store, we wish to bridge this gap at an affordable price, faster service rate and with an ease of accessibility to the retail customers. Additionally, we remain environment-friendly owing to some of the unique machine features.''
Going ahead, the team has identified this B2C segment lucrative enough for scaling exponentially via a franchise model.
Jigar Vora, co-founder of Entropy, ''Our future plan is to empower all manual washing centers with an automated washing machine. Petrol pumps, malls, corporate parks, societies are the potential B2C target areas. We see a huge potential at captive areas like petrol pumps. These markets have an analogy in foreign markets where pumps have an automated car washer'' adds
On its market potential at authorized service centres, another Entropy co-founder Bhushan Karn, explains, "Wash quality is the lone factor which makes or breaks the impression of a service centre. An average biker cares less about the mechanical tweaks and more about the appearance of the bike. With ever increasing and often unpredictable loads, service centres invariably struggle to deliver bikes on time as washing becomes a major bottleneck." With this round of funding, Entropy now looks forward to increase its team size in key areas for a nationwide presence in both these segments.
ah! Ventures co-founder Abhijeet Kumar, sais, "Entropy is another engineering technology startup which got me excited from the very first day. Their technology innovation is superb and they have definitely delivered a world class product. I am very happy to say that we have another really good tech product startup from IIT. Also the IP behind auto bike washing product is very scalable and robust. Besides the product, they have a dedicated and sincere team working round-the-clock to make it a successful company."
Rajesh Sehgal, senior executive director, Templeton Emerging Markets, was the deal lead for CLUB ah! platform and besides getting his friends to invest in the deal, he also helped rope in legendary investor Mobius, as an investor. Subject to compliance clearances, Sehgal is expected to join on the board of Entropy Innovations as the investor director.
Giving an investors' perspective, Harshad Lahoti, founder and CEO of ah! Ventures, said, "In an era saturated with a deluge of IT, mobile and cloud-app ventures, Entropy's conventional brick and mortar and yet super scalable offering was an instant hit amongst CLUB ah! investors. This, backed with a large readily available addressable target market for its services and a highly competent IIT-IIM team with a clear vision to disrupt the current two-wheeler service industry dynamics, made Entropy an extremely favourable investment opportunity. These were the most impressive qualities which our investors have loved."
ah! Ventures, a startup focused growth catalyst that brings together promising businesses and investors by creating wealth creation opportunities for both says it is in the process of closing three more investments in the coming weeks.