Bangalore and US-based Theatro Labs Inc., which makes voice-controlled wearable communications devices for hourly workers in the retail, hospitality and manufacturing industries, has secured $5 million in its Series A round of funding from Khosla Ventures. With this round, the total capital raised so far by the firm touches $8.8 million.
As part of the deal, Ben Ling, investment partner at Khosla Ventures, has joined Theatro's board of directors.
The capital raised from this round will be used to ramp up Theatro's sales and marketing efforts, in addition to product development.
"Hourly employees are one of today's most valuable workforces, and they could be more effective and productive with innovative technology tools available to them," said Theatro's CEO Chris Todd.
"Ben Ling and Khosla Ventures share our vision of the prominent impact that enhanced enterprise communications can have on mobile workforces by connecting employees to one another while they're on the job and also to their company's business information."
Theatro was founded in 2012 by Chris Todd, Ravi Shankar Kumar, Patrick Fitzgerald and Guy VanBuskirk. The firm offers voice-enabled enterprise wearable devices, coupled with a software suite of productivity apps for brick-and-mortar retail, hospitality and manufacturing enterprises. Theatro claims its SaaS-based 'heads-up-and-hands-free' mobile communications and management solution, delivered over the in-store Wi-Fi to hourly employees, helps enterprises increase employee productivity. The firm had earlier raised $3.5 million in seed funding.
Headquartered in Dallas, the firm opened its R&D centre in Bangalore in February this year.
"Enterprise communication will be more effective with mobile technology," said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures. "Theatro is well-positioned to help increase workforce productivity through their voice-enabled, hands-free device and corresponding productivity apps."
Founded in 2004 by Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Khosla Ventures provides venture assistance and strategic advice to entrepreneurs. With over $3 billion under management, the firm focuses on a broad range of areas including consumer, enterprise, education, advertising, financial services, semiconductors, health, big data, agriculture/food, sustainable energy and robotics.
Headquartered in California, the fund recently participated along with Battery Ventures and a few individual investors in a $9.2 million funding round in Bangalore- and California-based Interview Street Inc., which offers a technical recruiting platform for enterprises under the brand name HackerRank.