ICT Fund leads $6.2-million funding round in smart wearables startup KaHa

Industry:    May, 2019

Smart wearables startup KaHa has raised $6.2 million in a Series B round of funding led by ICT Fund, a venture capital (VC) fund focused on deep-tech investments.

The funds raised in this round will enable the company to boost its research and development and expand operations in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a company statement.

Incorporated in Singapore in 2015, KaHa operates an end-to-end Internet of Things platform for smart wearables including electronics design, printed circuit board assembly, application framework for iOS and Android, cloud services, data analytics and smart after-sales service tool.

The platform also enables partners and customers to incorporate the latest technology without high financial costs and speed up their go-to-market time for smart products.

KaHa is expecting the number of devices powered by its platform to exceed two million by the end of 2019.

The company will be expanding its presence in Singapore as well as play a more significant role in the country’s IoT ecosystem. KaHa said that it is collaborating closely with public and private partners to develop innovative use cases on smart wearables.

KaHa’s partners across the IoT development chain include Singapore research institute ASTAR SIMTech, Bridgestone, Curtis Australia, MHA Manufacture de Haute Accessoire Partners, Tex Line and Titan.

Earlier KaHa had built a smart fitness T-shirt in collaboration with Tex Line and ASTAR SIMTech. The smart shirt, which was tested at the one-north Run 2018, monitors live ECG, live heart rate, heart rate variance, and other health parameters.

“Apart from helping us expand our product line, this new round of funding will allow KaHa to discover more breakthrough products that can support the health and wellness, sports and fitness, safety and digital payments needs, as well as increase the COVE platform’s availability internationally and improve our accessibility and affordability,” said Pawan Gandhi, chief executive officer of KaHa, in a statement.

“We are delighted to partner with KaHa, which is well placed to capitalize on the fast-growing market opportunity in smart wearables. Consumer product brands will increasingly need to offer ‘smart’ products to maintain leadership and KaHa, with its innovative end-to-end platform, is a perfect partner for global brands,” said Brijesh Pande, managing partner of ICT Fund.

The company also has plans to increase manpower at its Singapore headquarters and offices in China, India and Switzerland within the next two years, as part of its expansion plan.

The global wearables market is currently projected to grow significantly. According to market research firm CCS Insight, sale of smart wearable is predicted to grow at 16% CAGR, from 121 million units in 2018 to 260 million units in 2023, creating a market opportunity worth almost $30 billion.

KaHa’s closest competitor in India is Mumbai-based preventive healthcare platform GOQii, which also makes proprietary smart fitness trackers.

GOQii, in November 2018, had raised around $30 million in Series-B led by Mitsui and Co. Ltd of Japan in November 2018. It is also backed by high net worth individuals such as Ratan Tata, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, DSG Consumer Partners, and others.

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