India-born engineer’s roti maker gets $11.5 mn investment

Singapore, July 24 (IANS) 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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