$16M invested by Reliance Industries in NetraDyne

Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries is the largest company in the Indian private sector. Start-up investments are the latest addition to the work carried out by Reliance which includes the fields of petroleum, hydrocarbons, retail, and telecommunication. On Wednesday, the company stated it would invest $16M in NetraDyne, a startup based in the USA.

$8M was invested at the end of May 2016, and the remaining half would be invested the following year by March-end. Reliance’s total stake would become 40% in NetraDyne after the March 2017 investment.

Backed by Reliance Industries, Nita Ambani founded and currently runs Reliance Foundation, one of India’s largest non-profit philanthropic organizations. Nita Ambani, education, healthcare, and sports through this CSR venture.

Netra Dyne

NetraDyne is a startup founded by Avneesh Agrawal, and David Julian. Based out of California, the company’s work centers around vision-based analytics and its implications on the artificial intelligence, drones, and healthcare industries.

Avneesh, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of NetraDyne, had previously worked as the Senior Vice President at Qualcomm, leading their 4G LTE, and product development projects. David is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at NetraDyne. His past work at Qualcomm has been awarded 107 US patents. He has also worked for NASA on their jet lab projects.

GenNext Hub

The investments are being made through Reliance’s GenNext Hub. Offering a four month program for startups, which includes training, and mentorship, they may also receive funding from Reliance. It has backed startups like Videonetics, and Convacsis, but has no plans of fully acquiring any in the near future.

Aimed at mutual benefit, GenNext aims to provide acceleration to pioneering work that will provide solution to future problems. Designed to encourage startups to constantly innovate, the goal is to provide them with infrastructure and facilities to enhance progress.

GenNext Partnerships

Reliance aims to provide startups with facilities that enable them to enhance their core business, and scale up. Its tie up with Microsoft ensures the availability of quality IT infrastructure. Based out of Reliance’s Navi Mumbai Corporate Park, GenNext Hub aims at acquiring more such partnerships and is mainly looking at hardware and software technology companies to tie up with. 

Digital India

At the launch of the Digital India Week, Mukesh Ambani said that Reliance Industries would invest more than Rs 250,000 crore in the digital sector. This covers manufacturing handsets and the setting up of broadband services across India.

Additionally, Reliance Jio Infocomm is working with phone manufacturers to create handsets affordable for the general public in the country. It is also working towards creating a quality network that will be spread across the nation, and enabling retailers to operate sale and service centers.

Reliance has already launched the sale of its LYF handsets under Reliance Retail, and is gearing up for the launch of its Jio 4G data and telecommunication services in India.

Summary

Reliance has invested $16M in NetraDyne through its GenNext Hub arm, and plans to back more start-ups in the future.

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