Robotics startup Botsync bags seed funding from Wong Fong, Seeds Capital

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SINGAPORE-BASED robotics startup Botsync has bagged an undisclosed amount of seed funding in a round jointly led by Wong Fong Industries, Seeds Capital, Angelhub and Artesian Venture Partners.

The funding will be used to scale the startup's automation solutions to support the logistics and manufacturing sector, it announced on Tuesday.

Botsync chief executive and co-founder Rahul Nambiar added that the funding will also empower the startup to scale up the commercialisation of its robotics solution and enhance the features of its automated vehicles for safer and more reliable use.

Catalist-listed Wong Fong Industries specialises in businesses such as customised engineering solutions, industrial and hospitality training, education and talent management and placements.

Seeds Capital is the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, while Angelhub is Hong Kong's first Securities and Futures Commission-licensed startup investment platform.

Artesian Venture Partners is an alternative investment firm in the Asia-Pacific region with over 400 startups in its portfolio.

Botsync allows companies to simplify the automation of their material movement processes with autonomous mobile robots capable of transporting payloads of between 500 and 1,000 kilogrammes.

The solution is scalable and requires minimal or no changes to existing infrastructure, helping enterprises reduce their dependencies on forklifts and personnel.

Using these robots, users are estimated to enjoy an overall cost reduction of their material handling operations by up to 45 per cent, Botsync said.

"We are now in a strong position to build our technology teams in Singapore and India to meet the growing need for automated solutions. Our aim is to eventually help enterprises all over the world embrace automation," Mr Nambiar said.

Botsync's early investors include venture capital and accelerator firm Brinc and Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Ecolabs Center of Innovation - where it was incubated.

The startup was founded in 2017 by NTU graduates Nikhil Venkatesh, Prashant Trivedi, Singaram Venkatachalam and Rahul Nambiar.

To date, Botsync has completed sales contracts across Singapore and India. It is currently working with a global energy management solutions company and an international transport and logistics company on pilot projects.

In 2020, the startup expects to complete two to three commercial deployments of their moving all goods (MAG) robots, increase sales of their industrial training products and expand market reach in South-east Asia and India.

The startup is offering free automation consultation and flexible rental-based deployments of their products to help companies cope with mandatory sanitation measures and a reduced workforce amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wong Fong Industries executive director Liew Chern Yean said the Covid-19 situation has considerably shortened the digitisation and automation timeline for companies, which will now need to embrace and find new ways to harness the benefits of technology in order to be ahead of the innovation curve. (see amendment note)

"As a group with engineering as one of its core businesses, Wong Fong recognises the synergistic collaboration with Botsync and believes that with the support of Wong Fong, Botsync will be able to offer its innovative automation solutions to companies looking to automate and stay globally competitive," Mr Liew added.

Amendment note: An earlier version of this article misstated Liew Chern Yean's name.

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