Citizens' Issues
India-born engineer's roti maker gets $11.5 mn investment
An Indian-origin engineer in Singapore who invented an automatic one-minute roti maker machine seven years back has now fetched a second round of investment of $11.5 million from venture firms, a media report said.
 
Pranoti Nagarkar-Israni, a mechanical engineer from the National University of Singapore, came up with a prototype for an automatic roti maker which won her the "Start-Up Singapore" competition in 2009.
 
She later floated a product design company called Zimplistic with her husband to promote the roti maker brand called Rotimatic.
 
Zimplistic has now announced an investment of $11.5 million from Southeast Asia-based NSI Ventures and Germany-based Robert Bosch Venture Capital, web portal TechinAsia.com reported.
 
"It has been an amazing year for us and these new partnerships will only help to improve what we see as a revolutionary product that enables families to eat healthier," Rishi Israni, Pranoti's husband and CEO of Zimplistic, was quoted as saying.
 
The automatic roti maker is smart enough to use its 15 sensors to figure out the ingredients put in it and the measures in which to combine them.
 
The user needs to put in the ingredients in the given containers and press a button.
 
Within a minute, a flat, circular roti slides out of the machine - much like a sheet of paper that comes out of a photocopier.
 
The machine also allows its users to customise the doughballs and flour discs.
 
Within a week of the launch of its beta version last year, $5 million worth of roti makers priced at $999 each were sold and Zimplistic had to close pre-orders.
 
Today, there is a huge waiting list for roti makers and over 5,000 requests for distribution partnerships from around the world are pending with the firm.
 
"With this funding, Zimplistic plans to finish the Rotimatic beta, accelerate manufacturing rollout and set up operations in international markets to fulfil the big demand," Israni said.
 
This new round of funding has been secured just few months after raising the first round of investment worth more than $1 million from NSI Ventures.

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COMMENTS

Bapoo Malcolm

2 years ago

Singapore Dollars? But still Rs. 46,000/- Let's hope economies of scale make it cheaper. I love fresh rotis.

Bharti Airtel launches 4G trial in four cities
Bharti Airtel rolled out fourth generation (4G) trials in four cities on Friday, a company statement said here.
 
The cities are Rourkela in Odisha and Manipal, Udupi and Tumkur in Karnataka. With these launches, the company now offers 4G in 44 cities in India. The company first launched its 4G services in Kolkata in April 2012.
 
The statement said Bharti Airtel customers in these cities can now avail a complimentary upgrade to Airtel 4G at 3G prices.
 
Airtel has also announced a go-to-market partnerships with Samsung and Flipkart for 4G devices.

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SEBI bars Unique Vision Financial Advisory from any activity in the securities market
This SEBI Order is to  prevent  Unique  Vision Financial Advisory from soliciting  and  collecting  funds  from  the  investors  and  carrying  on  portfolio  management services without due registration from SEBI
 
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has passed an order dated 22 July 2015 against Unique Vision Financial Advisory Pvt. Ltd. (UVFAPL) and its directors/promoters,  Chandrakant Shamrao Dhole and  Ravindra Shankar Kaurav under sections 11, 11(4), 11B and 11D of SEBI Act, 1992 prohibiting the entities from buying, selling or otherwise dealing in the securities market, either directly or indirectly.
 
Also, the SEBI Order directed UVFAPL to expeditiously return the monies received from its clients along with the promised returns, in respect of its unregistered portfolio manager activities and submit a certificate from a peer reviewed Chartered Accountant, within a period of 3 months.
 
SEBI had already issued an interim order on 29 January 2015 to suspend its portfolio management activities. The  interim  order  observed  that  UVFAPL  was offering portfolio management services to its clients without obtaining registration from SEBI as portfolio manager in contravention of  Section 12(1) of the  Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 ('SEBI Act')  read with SEBI (Portfolio Managers) Regulations, 1993 ('PMS Regulations').
 
Before proceeding further with the matter after the interim order, an opportunity of personal hearing was afforded to the noticees on 17 April 2015, when the noticees namely  Chandrakant Shamrao Dhole and  Ravindra  Shankar  Kaurav  appeared  for  themselves  and  for  the  company  and reiterated the submissions made in the reply.  UVFAPL also submitted a 'compact disc' containing the details of the bank accounts of the company. UVFAPL also requested for one week's time for submitting the written submissions which was duly granted. UVFAPL in its email dated 24 April 2015, requested for an extension till 5 May 2015, for submitting the written submissions and the bank statements.  In another email dated 9 May 09 2015, the notices requested for further extension till 18 May 2015. UVFAPL  in its  letter  dated  19 May  2015,  submitted  that  he  had collected  Rs1,84,60,000 from the investors and had returned  Rs1,35,87,636 to  investors  in the form of monthly return. UVFAPL also requested SEBI to consider the said payment as a payment  of  principle amount  collected  from  the  investors  and  agreed  to  pay  the  remaining amount  i.e.  Rs48,72,364  to  the  investors,  for  which UVFAPL  requested  for  additional  time.  Along with this letter, UVFAPL also filed the bank statements of the company with ICICI Bank and IDBI Bank.  UVFAPL, in its letter dated 11 June 2015, submitted the details of amount returned to the investors through bank and in cash. However, the  details  submitted  for  cash  payments,  were  not  supported  by  any  acknowledgement/ receipt/ confirmation from the investors.
 
The SEBI Order observed, “It is noted that UVFAPL has not disputed the allegations made in the interim order rather the allegations have been admitted. The submission of UVFAPL is that the money collected was used in the 'stock market' and 'international forex market', wherein, losses were incurred.  UVFAPL has admitted rotating the money of the investors.”
 
The SEBI Order also observed, “UVFAPL  has  claimed  that  a  sum  of  Rs1,35,87,636  had  been  repaid  to  the investors.  However,  it  is  noted  that  there  are  several  investor  complaints  alleging  that  post-dated cheques issued by the company had returned with the reason 'insufficient funds'.”
 
Hence, the SEBI final order (after the interim order) has no lenience for UVFAPL on account of the personal hearing and documents submitted. The SEBI Order said, “SEBI may also initiate Adjudication proceedings under Chapter VIA of the SEBI Act against UVFAPL and  its  promoters/  directors for the violation of indulging in  unregistered  portfolio management  services  in  the  securities  market  in  breach  of  Section 12(1) of the SEBI Act and Regulation 3 of the SEBI (Portfolio Managers) Regulations, 1993. This Order shall come into force with immediate effect. Copies  of  this  Order  shall  be  served  on  recognised  stock  exchanges  and  depositories  for information and necessary action.”

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