Dear Friends ,
A warm welcome to all our members – hope everyone is continuing to stay safe and healthy. We are now almost six months into the COVID environment and we are still continuing to adapt in both our personal and business lives.
We are also excited about our angel fund to invest in high potential early stage companies on our platform, some of which are engaging with our corporate partners. The Angel fund intends to strengthen the start-up ecosystem by providing access to early stage financing, a high quality mentor network and access to global markets. The aim of the fund is to participate in the cycle of value creation early on and nurture innovative businesses that are addressing large product market gaps and are founded by strong and experienced teams. The Fund has already invested in TrillBit. . In this newsletter, there’s a section on TrillBit that will tell you more about the company. You can find more about the Angel fund Here.
Innovation is on the rise as startups and businesses are being challenged to pivot, become ever more effective remotely, and adapt to the changing consumer. Investors are being more laser focused than ever and entrepreneur talent and quality will need to stand out. More organizations are taking a project vs time based approach so this is likely a good time for freelancers, as well as a way for startups to manage personnel costs. The current situation has also opened up many opportunities for women rejoining the workforce as work from home is now the norm.
IvyCamp continues to leverage its Global Alumni Mentor pool to work with startups, and we will shortly be launching our online recorded seminars where our mentors will focus on guidance to startups on topical issues that are sector focused. Our corporate partners are also getting more active looking for startups with AI/ML based solutions that are enabling more effective customer engagement, remote working, and production efficiency.
Over the past few months, we have had a number of startup engagements. For corporates, we held product showcases, where 12 AI startups presented their solutions to 30 plus corporates. We are also currently in the final round of startup shortlisting for our HDFC life Futurance Phase 2. For startups, we had held webinars such as one around how startups can plan to better manage their capital runway during these tough times. We also ran Episode 2 of our Imagine Webinar series, where we had 4 women global leaders talk about how the environment has changed for working women given the COVID Situation. Our Startup COVID challenge brought us some very interesting startups and we are now in the final phase of funding evaluation.
Our angel fund is proud to announce its first investment in Trillbit. An innovator leader in the IoT technology called the ‘internet of sound’, Boston and Bengaluru-based Trillbit is fast growing as one of the unique players in the field. We have selected this investment in line with our fund philosophy to work with strong founder teams with a deep technical background, an innovative idea with the potential to become a market leader, and our ability to add vertical-alignue to the startup to scale and be successful.
How did you start Trillbit and what is your mission?
We realized that nearby devices can talk to each other just like humans. We started Trillbit to enable billions of devices to communicate with each other seamlessly just using sound waves.
Audio speakers are everywhere, it is present in our phones, laptops, TV, at Physical places like Malls, Airports, offices etc; actually there are more number of audio speakers than people on earth. Similarly, thanks to the voice technology driven trend, billions of devices are coming with microphones. So, there is already listening and speaking capability that exists in these devices.
We started Trillbit about 3 years ago, all 3 co-founders that time were in 3 different continents (USA, Africa and India), we left our cushy jobs and got together at Bengaluru to take our startup plunge. For one year we lived in the same house that was also our office, bootstrapped for a year and developed MVP technology to initiate the business.
We have developed proprietary “data over sound'' technology that can transform any audio speaker into a data transmitter and any device with microphone into a data receiver. And our vision is to build “Internet of Sound” and make a truly world-class deep-tech company to become a de facto protocol for proximity communication between two devices for IoT and user authentication use cases.
What is “Internet of Sound” and how does it leverage audio devices ?
The Internet of sound is a concept of connecting devices in proximity over inaudible sound waves (near-ultrasonic). The Internet has now become a default medium to communicate when people are thousands of Kilometers away. But there is still a gap when there is a need to connect two devices which are nearby and exchange info or data between them. Current technologies like Bluetooth, NFC, QR based systems require either additional hardware or are not efficient.How one device identifies another and establishes a communication channel just using sound waves is the crux of “internet of sound”.
What are some of the solutions that Trillbit offers?
Trillbit is primarily working on
I. User authentication (Mobile to other devices like Mobile, POS, Auth Machines) e.g. Ticketing authentication, Payment Authentication etc. Current pandemic of Covid makes it necessary for touchless authentication or transaction mechanisms and we are seeing a lot of interest from various companies in this application space.
II. IoT Use case: First time device set-up e.g setting up devices like Alexa, or enabling command and control of devices in proximity. Our technology drives higher customer experience and cybersecurity.
What's the best question about your company or the market asked of you recently by a.) an investor and b.) a customer?
Investor: What’s our plan to establish this protocol as the de facto protocol for device provisioning and IoT use cases?
Customer: How our technology can help maintain social distancing in shop floor/factory spaces?