Wearables startup GOQii raises $13.4M from NEA, others
GOQii Inc, a wearable devices startup launched by Indiagames founder and former CEO Vishal Gondal, has raised $13.4 million (Rs 90 crore) in Series A funding led by global venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA).
China's Cheetah Mobile and Great Wall Club, besides existing early-stage investor DSG Consumer Partners and other angel investors, also put money in the funding round, as per a media statement.
Incorporated in 2013, California-headquartered GOQii has offices in Mumbai and Shenzhen, China. It offers a combination of a health-related wearable band, expert-led personalised coaching and elements of social philanthropy.
"Our band's agnostic approach and virtual delivery model has received tremendous reception globally and we are now planning to replicate this success in key markets of China and the US," Gondal said.
The company had raised an undisclosed amount from Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of mobile internet firm One97 Communications, the parent of Paytm, in July 2015.
Last year, it had raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Neeraj Arora, business head at WhatsApp Inc., and Marco Argenti, vice president of mobile at Amazon Web Services.
GOQii is also backed by many angel investors including Google's Amit Singhal and Rajan Anandan, Microsoft's S Somasegar and Vijay Vashee, actor Madhuri Dixit-Nene and husband Shriram Nene, DSG Consumer's Deepak Shahdadpuri, Seagate's Steve Luczo, Dell's Kanwaljit Bombra and Mike McNamara of Flextronics. Habitera's Anil Godhwani, Simply Hired's Goutam Godhwani, Bharat Vasan of My Basis, and Prashant Gulati of The Indus Entrepreneurs are among other angel investors.
The company competes with the likes of the New York Stock Exchange-listed Fitbit Inc. Many other tech companies globally, such as Apple Inc, have launched wearable devices. 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. It expects worldwide shipments to reach 173.4 million units by 2019, recording a five-year compound annual rate of 22.9 per cent.
Signal Hill acted as the financial advisor to GOQii and Goodwin Procter provided legal advisory services for the latest funding.
For NEA, which raised $3.1 billion early this year across its new flagship fund and an associated 'opportunity fund', this is turning out to the most active investment year in India. It has already backed half-a-dozen India-related firms since January, many being additions to its portfolio, as per VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.
NEA has a broad strategy and invests from seed to growth equity stage, but its Indian investments have been mostly mid-stage VC funding deals. It is looking to come in as an early-stage investor as part of its tweaked investment strategy. The investment is GOQii is part of this strategy.
NYSE-listed Cheetah Mobile is a developer of mobile utility applications while Great Wall Club is a private network for innovators and executives from mobile companies worldwide.