Mitsui & Co, a part of Japanese conglomerate Mitsui Group, has injected nearly Rs 20 crore or $3 million in Hyderabad-based automotive tech startup Smart Auto Systems. This is according to the latest documents filed by the company with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). Founded in 2015 by Vijay Gummadi and Venu Donepudi, this is the first time that this Hyderabad-based tech startup has received funding from an external source.
According to the documents filed with ROC, the funding process was completed a couple of months ago and three members from Mitsui have already joined Smart Auto Systems’ board of directors team. The sources close to the deal have told the media that the company will use the capital to strengthen its technology platform and for expanding its presence across the country.
Smart Auto Systems promotes itself as a multi-brand car repair and maintenance services startup. At the heart of its service is Autorox, a mobile app targeted towards garage owners/workshop managers aims to simplify the complex process of car repairing and services. Among other services, the app claims to provide simplified management of auto-spare parts, easy communication with the insurers and reducing the time required to repair passenger cars.
Interestingly, this is not the first automotive tech startup started by Vijay Gummadi and Venu Donepudi. The duo had founded CarZ, which also offers end-to-end car servicing solutions to its customers. The CarZ managed to raise $5 million from IndoUs Venture Partners in 2011. This was followed by Rs 3 crore capital infusion in April this year, according to company research platform Tofler.
Both Gummadi and Donepudi’s deep interest in automotive industry steams from the fact that both boost strong background in the automobile sector. While Gummadi is a mechanical engineer, Donepudi had worked with auto giants like Ford and General Motors before starting his entrepreneurial journey.