India’s leading defence IoT startup, today announced that it has raised pre-series A funding from India’s premier early stage investor, YourNest.
CRON is a deep-tech company that is focused on deploying cutting edge solutions for border security. Some of the solutions have also been adapted for commercial markets. The company has already bagged orders from the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Indian Army to install its’ products to secure the international borders as well as perimeter of sensitive installations like army camps, airports etc. The fund infusion will help it strengthen R&D, hire talent and explore new markets across Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Started in 2015, CRON Systems develops IoT and laser-guided intrusion detection systems that can distinguish and report both human and mechanical intrusions. CRON combines deep research in lasers, data, Artificial Intelligence, encrypted communications and automation to offer an extremely accurate and seamless intruder detection and deterrence infrastructure. CRON’s current product line includes integrated intrusion detection and smart fencing solution, comprising laser walls and surveillance drones. The company has recently partnered with an Israeli company to develop automated patrolling rovers and trucks that can help save costly human lives on the borders.
The scope of perimeter security is huge globally, with nations and organisations spending billions annually to secure their borders. CRON is eyeing both defence and commercial markets for its offerings. Its first aim is to secure India’s 15,000 km long border, where its products can radically improve counter-insurgency measures. On the commercial side, the company is targeting 4,500+ warehouses across the country, followed by IT Parks, housing societies and estates, which are a massive untapped market opportunity. It has already done a pilot with a leading e-commerce company to secure one of its warehouses.
CRON has been founded by Tushar Chhabra, Saurav Agarwala and Tommy Katzenellenbogen. Tushar is an ex-Google strategist and takes care of strategy, product idealisation, sales, team building and management at CRON. Saurav has worked with companies like Reliance Jio, Qualcomm and Grey Orange and brings knowledge and experience in product development, technology implementation and system design. Tommy on the other hand is an Israeli Air Force veteran who has also has experience in venture capital. He takes care of business development and is also an expert in defence product management, valuations, sales, and business strategy, focussing on moonshot growth.
“At CRON, we have developed one of the most sophisticated and accurate perimeter security systems in the world. It has multiple elements, all of which combine to offer impenetrable surveillance to any kind of facility / border. We have seen tremendous response for our products from different quarters and will continue to innovate further. With YourNest on board and their guidance, we expect to grow at a rapid pace across both defence and commercial markets in India and abroad.” said Tushar Chhabra, CEO, CRON Systems.
“As a fund, our mandate is to invest in deep tech and innovative companies in sectors of tomorrow, investment in CRON perfectly fits our investment thesis. Their products have already been deployed in real life hostile territory and have been saving numerous lives at our international borders. We are very confident of the team at CRON and have complete faith in their execution capabilities and are sure they will make a huge mark for themselves going ahead, in both domestic and international markets.” said Girish Shivani, co-founder, Executive Director and Fund Manager, YourNest India VC Fund. This is the first investment by YourNest from its Fund-II.
Pre-series A Funding will bolster R&D and hiring,
CRON has already won BSF and Army contracts,
Company eyes European and Middle East markets,
YourNest’s first investment from Fund 2
Founded in April 2011 by Sunil K Goyal, Sanjay Pande and Girish Shivani, YourNest is an early stage venture capital fund that invests in the new connected economy represented by the Internet of Things, Electronic System Design, Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Robotics, Enterprise Software and the Mobile Internet. In 2016, the company brought Dr. Vivek Mansingh on board as a General Partner. YourNest is among the top quartile of pre-series A stage venture funds. Acting as a lead investor in investment rounds of upto USD 1 million, YourNest co-creates successful companies by mentoring and closely working with start-ups. The portfolio consists of 16 companies, including Uniphore Software, mycity4kids, Rubique, Arya.ai, Smart Software Testing Solutions Inc, Simpli5d, SmartQ, seeDoc, Fashalot, aahaa stores, MoMark, and GolfLAN. The first fund launched in 2012 saw subscription from 144 individual investors as well as 3 institutional investors – SIDBI’s India Opportunity Fund, IIFL Seed Ventures and Northgate Capital (a Silicon Valley based USD 5 billion Fund of Funds) with a corpus of INR 90 crore. In October 2016, YourNest announced its second fund called ‘YourNest India VC Fund II’ for Rs. 300 crore targeted at investing in 25-30 start-ups over the next 4 years.