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Swipe Telecom raises Rs 30 crore from Kalaari Capital

MUMBAI: Mobile technology start-up Swipe Telecom has raised Rs 30 crore (Rs 300 million) in venture capital funding from Kalaari Capital to finance its future expansion plan. The funding round is estimated to meet its growth plan for the next 12–15 months.

Swipe Telecom has embarked on an expansion drive by establishing its presence across India and capturing a sizeable chunk of the tablet PC market. Besides, it will be also spending money on development of unique user interface (UI) features and Android technology to enhance their product’s performance.

This is the first round of funding that Swipe Telecom has raised from institutional investor. The company aims to acquire 12 per cent market share of the rapidly growing tablet PC market in India. From current sales of 4.4 million units, this market is expected to grow to around 5 million by FY15.

Swipe founder & CEO Shripal Gandhi said, “Funding from Kalaari Capital is another milestone in our journey to become the leading tablet brand in India. Swipe will continue to lead in making available cutting-edge technology that is highly customisable for the Indian consumers at attractive prices.”

The Pune-based company, which commenced its operations in July 2012, was founded by Shripal Gandhi and Aman Gupta. Seed funding was done by Mantra Ventures, a Pune-based angel fund. The promoters and angel fund together invested Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million).

Swipe Telecom’s products are targeted at youth. It is currently focusing on developing devices and will soon be coming up with some propriety youth-centric application for an Indian audience, plus certain number of third-party application.

Its sales turnover grossed over Rs 100 crore ( Rs 1 billion) in FY14. Telecom companies generate 7 to 10 per cent margin of their turnover. Given its strategy of targeting youths and offering youth-centric devices, Swipe Telecom is expected to maintain brisk growth for FY15 as well.

Swipe has emerged as the leading tablet brand by units sold in Rajasthan, Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, and J&K. It is also among the top two sellers in Mumbai and Gujarat.

It has online presence and sells its products through Flipkart and other similar digital markets. Besides, Swipe Telecom’s devices are also available in big retail outlets, namely Croma, Big Bazaar.

Moreover, the company has joined hands with MTV to develop co-branded products. It offers devices under the brand names MTV Slate and MTV Volt. The MTV Slash is built in keeping with the aspirations of the Indian youth.

Its flagship products include Swipe 3D Life, the first 3D tablet to be launched in India. The company has rolled out a total of 23 models, which is the biggest portfolio of tablet PC in India for any tablet company.