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Vishal Gondal’s wearables startup raises undisclosed funds from Ratan Tata

Ratan Tata

Ratan Tata

GOQii Inc, a wearable devices startup launched by Vishal Gondal, who has earlier founded Indiagames, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd. The development was reported by the Press Trust of India on Monday.

An email query sent to GOQii did not elicit a response at the time of filing this report.

This is the second time this year that GOQii has received funding. In February, the firm raised an undisclosed amount from the venture capital arm of Edelweiss Financial Services Pvt Ltd. The round saw Edelweiss becoming a strategic partner to the startup.

In November, GOQii raised $13.4 million (Rs 90 crore) in a Series A funding led by global venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA). The round also saw participation from China’s Cheetah Mobile, Great Wall Club, and existing early-stage investor DSG Consumer Partners and other angel investors.

In April 2016, GOQii appointed former Google executive and an angel investor in the firm, Amit Singhal, as one of the board directors. He has also helped the firm expand into new global markets.

Established in 2013 by Vishal Gondal, the California-headquartered company has offices in Mumbai and Shenzhen (China). It offers a combination of wearable technology, expert-led personalised coaching and elements of social philanthropy (karma) to enable its users to lead healthier lives.

In July last year, it secured funding from Paytm founder and CEO, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and in August 2014, it raised angel funding from Neeraj Arora, business head at WhatsApp Inc and Marco Argenti, vice president of mobile vertical at Amazon Web Services.

Since retiring as the head of the Tata Group in 2012, Ratan Tata has backed over 35 startups across sectors such as healthcare, fashion, clean energy and social enterprise, and the number keeps rising. He was the top angel investor in 2015 and also in the first half of this year.

Tata makes his investments through Mumbai-based RNT Associates and is helped by a small team based out of Mumbai and Singapore.

Tata’s most recent investments were in food tech startup Idea Chakki in September, and in June, he backed gaming startup MadRat and mobile security startup Appknox in August.

In August, Tata’s investment firm RNT Associates got regulatory approval to set up a fund with the University of California to back startups.

Tata, along with Nandan Nilekani and Vijay Kelkar have set up a technology-enabled microfinance entity, Avanti Finance, to deliver affordable and timely credit to under-served and un-served segments in India.

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