Novatium plans to raise $10-15 Mn to scale up operations
Chennai: Chennai based Novatium Solutions plans to raise $10 to 15 million (Rs 40 to 60 crore) to enhance its operations. Earlier in Delhi and Chennai, the company had launched Nova netPC, its low-cost personal computers, reported Business Line. Recently, the company had received an undisclosed amount of investment from a U.S. based venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA). For the purpose of fund raising, the company is exploring various options, including other private equity firms. NEA will also have the option to fund again, said Alok Singh, CEO, Novatium. Novatium will start the expansion from March and hopes to have around 1.50 lakh customers in India by the year-end. Now, its customer base is about just a thousand. With increasing broadband connectivity, the installed base in India in the next five years could be around 50 million customers for products like Nova netPC, said Singh . Co-founded by Ray Stata, Chairman of Analog Devices; Rajesh Jain, Managing Director of Netcore Solutions; and Prof Ashok Jhunjhunwala of IIT-Madras, Novatium has nine patents for its innovation, said Singh. Novatium's low-cost PC is like an appliance, which includes keyboard, mouse, monitor and Nova netPC. A cable is drawn into the house and connected to the Nova netPC. The Nova netPC works on a 'thin client' concept. It is a small box and does not contain any software or application. On the desk of the user is only an input-output device. The entire computing takes place in a central server located elsewhere. The central service has all the storage and guarantees data privacy through encryption, said Singh. The cost of a Nova netPC is Rs 10,000. This comes further down by half if the customer has his own monitor, mouse and keyboard. For a monthly fee (Rs 399 now), subscribers can use applications such as Word, Excel and Media Player. Novatium has a tie up with MTNL in Delhi and will explore similar tie ups with other telecom majors across the country. Mauritius Telecom in Mauritius and Luxexy, a Thailand based business house are two firms Novatium has tie-up with. The company has around 500 customers in Delhi; 200 in Chennai; 500 in Mauritius and 200 in Thailand.