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India's Zoho invests Rs 20 crore in deeptech startup Genrobotics

ISN Team
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India's Zoho invests Rs 20 crore in deeptech startup Genrobotics

(L-R) Nikhil NP; Rashid K; Vimal Govind MK; Arun George | Image Courtesy - Forbes India

Chennai-headquartered SaaS company Zoho today announced it has invested Rs 20 crore (or $2.57 million) in Trivandrum-based Genrobotics. Genrobotics is a deeptech startup building robotics and AI-powered solutions for social issues such as hazardous working conditions.


The investment from Zoho is part of its mission to nurture the development of a deep-tech ecosystem in the country. The deeptech startup will use the raised capital to eradicate manual scavenging in India and provide safety and dignity to workers in the sanitation and oil and gas industries.

It will also focus on expanding its advanced R&D infrastructure, building large-scale production facilities, hiring more talent, increasing exports to ASEAN markets, and expanding global footprints.

Genrobotics says it has built the world's first robotic scavenger, Bandicoot, which helps clean confined spaces such as sewers manholes, sewer wells, stormwater manholes, oily water sewers (OWS), and stormwater sewers (SWS) in refineries.

Currently, smart cities, Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), refineries, multinational companies, townships, and housing colonies across 14 states are leveraging Bandicoot robots, thereby eliminating the need for human entry into manholes, the statement said.

"Bandicoot, which combines the use of human intelligence and Artificial Intelligence, is transforming the sanitation and oil and gas industries by offering a viable alternative to the dangerous practice of manual cleaning," said Vimal Govind MK, CEO & co-founder of Genrobotics. 

Additionally, Genrobotics has recently ventured into healthcare and launched a robot-assisted gait training solution—G Gaiter—to aid the recovery of people with paraplegia through improved rehabilitation experiences. The startup said its products are completely designed and manufactured in India.

"Nurturing a thriving deep-tech ecosystem in India is one of Zoho's priorities, and the investment in Genrobotics is a continuation of that commitment," said Sridhar Vembu, CEO and co-founder of Zoho Corp.

"Building such technological competencies and critical know-how locally can help foster sustainable growth across key sectors, like industrial manufacturing, healthcare, and energy, in turn making the country economically stronger and self-reliant. Making this a reality requires focused, long-term investments that support home-grown deep-tech startups through intensive R&D and engineering phases, and enable them to bring their ideas to the market. Looking at how far they have come already in this journey, Genrobotics' vision resonates with us at Zoho and we are happy to fast-track their efforts and support them in their mission to end manual scavenging," he adds.

"Meanwhile, through our #MissionRobohole, which aims to turn manholes into roboholes, we have rehabilitated hundreds of people who were working as manual scavengers by training them to be robot operators," Govinda said.

"In order to end manual scavenging in India, more than one lakh robots will be required," Govind added. "As we scale to fill the need gap, we estimate the creation of nearly five-lakh jobs across the country."

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