Rotimatic, An Automatic Roti Maker Created By an Indian Couple Gets $11.5M Funding for International Expansion
It is said that necessity is the mother of all inventions.
Pranoti Nagarkar-Israni, an Indian housewife in Singapore must have felt the pain of making roti, also called chapati, an Indian flat bread made of flour. This pain is similarly felt across by most of the housewives and cooks, as it takes considerable amount of time and effort to make it worthwhile.
This pain gave rise to a necessity, which Pranoti, along with her husband Rishi Israni converted into their first and only invention: an automatic Roti Maker, which can make one roti a minute.
They launched a prototype 6 years back, which won them an award at ‘Startup Singapore’ in 2009.
After the successful demonstration of their prototype, Israni couple named their invention Rotimatic, and in order to market their product, created a product design company called Zimplistic.
This week, Pranoti and Rishi Israni have successfully convinced investors to pour in money for their international expansion. After their beta launch last year, more than $5 million worth of Rotimatic were sold at a price of $599 (Rs 35,000). They had to stop pre-orders, 5000 orders are still waiting to be fulfilled, along with hundreds of distributor partnership around the world.
Southeast Asia-based NSI Ventures and Germany-based Robert Bosch Venture Capital will pitch in $11.5 million into their invention, as their second round of VC funds. NSI Ventures had previously invested $1 million in 2010.
Rishi Israni said, after confirming the news: “It has been an amazing year for us and these new partnerships will only help to improve what we see as a revolutionary product that enables families to eat healthier,”, adding, “With this funding, Zimplistic plans to finish the Rotimatic beta, accelerate manufacturing rollout and set up operations in international markets to fulfill the big demand,”
Pranoti Nagarkar-Israni, is a mechanical engineer from the National University of Singapore; and her husband Rishi is a serial entrepreneur, who had earlier founded tenCube, a mobile security company which was acquired by McAfee.
How Does Rotimatic Work?
User interface of this almost magical device is as simple as clicking a photograph from a digtal camera.
Step 1: User needs to insert flour, water & oil in the given containers
Step 2: Press the start button
Step 3: The process takes 5 minutes to warm up, and after that, flat, circular rotis slide out of the machine at a rate of one roti a minute.
Robotic Technology For Making Roti
This simple interface and the 16 square inch footprint packs a punch when it come to technology and innovation. This appliance has 300 tiny machine parts, out of which 10 components are small motors, which receive intelligence from 15 different sensors and save data such as temperature, position, consistency and more.
Infact, Israni couple have patented 8 technologies for Rotimatic, which includes the subtle way flour and water is mixed to create the batter. When we manually mix flour and water, we need to keep adding little proportions of water to make the batter consistent with our expectations. Using the same logic, Rotimatic maintains the consistency by testing the velocity with which dough is getting mixed, along with the plate deflection to make that perfect batter.
Users can also customize the roti with settings such as thickness, how much brown the rotis need to be and quantity of rotis.
Although roti seems like a pretty simple bread to make, but in reality, it takes much science and art to make one, consistently. With Rotimatic solving this puzzle, there seems a new hope for all Indian housewives, bachelors and lovers of Indian food.
Do you justify the price of $600 (Rs 35,000) for this first kitchen appliance using Robotic technology? Do share your views by commenting right here!