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Leaf raises $250K in seed funding for women safety wearables

Leaf’s flagship device—SAFER—can be worn as a pendant or a bracelet

Leaf’s flagship device—SAFER—can be worn as a pendant
or a bracelet

Leaf Wearables, a Delhi-based maker of connected jewellery for women, has raised $250,000 (Rs 1.67 crore) in seed funding from serial entrepreneur Ajeet Khurana, Omnivore Ventures’ Jinesh Shah and other angel investors.

Vikram Chachra (co-founder of Eight Capital), Vijay Talreja (co-founder, Adapty Inc) and Aniruddha Malpani (director, Solidarity Investment Advisors) also put money in this round, Leaf said in a press statement.

Delhi-based Leaf Innovation Pvt Ltd, the company behind the wearable tech venture, will use the money raised to ramp up its technology team, enhance product development and expand operations.

Leaf was founded in February by Avinash Bansal, Ayush Banka, Chiraag Kapil, Manik Mehta and Paras Batra.

Leaf’s flagship device—SAFER—is a wearable device that can be worn as a pendant or a bracelet. It sends signals to pre-stored phone number. It can also be used to trigger alarms, monitor movements and receive notification alerts besides clicking selfies. SAFER is connected to a smartphone through an app interface. Leaf claims to have sold 1,200 units of SAFER till date. The company is getting orders from the US, South Africa, Turkey and Malaysia too, Mehta said.

SAFER will be available within a month in Turkey, Mehta added.

Leaf had earlier raised Rs 5 lakh ($75,000) through crowdfunding platform Ketto, it said.

With an eye on the women’s safety market, several tech firms are looking to launch wearable devices embedded with a panic button. Juvalia & You, a private label e-commerce portal that sells fashion jewellery, said in June that it will launch connected imitation jewellery in the price range of Rs 250 and Rs 5,000.

IT firm Tech Mahindra had said it will would hand out digital key chains, lockets and hand-rings to over 27,000 women staffers to address the growing concern of women safety in the country.

In the last few months, a handful of wearable tech firms have raised external funding. However, most of them make fitness-focused devices. GOQii Inc, a wearable devices startup launched by Indiagames founder and former CEO Vishal Gondal, secured $13.4 million (Rs 90 crore) in Series A funding led by global venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA) in November.

In the same month, Belgaum-based wearable devices maker Sensegiz Technologies Pvt Ltd had raised $500,000 (around Rs 3.31 crore) in pre-Series A funding from Karnataka Semiconductor Venture Capital Fund.

According to a report by International Data Corporation, wearable device shipments will more than double to 76.1 million units in 2015 from 28.9 million units last year. The research firm expects worldwide shipments to reach 173.4 million units by 2019, recording a five-year compound annual growth rate of 22.9 per cent.

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