Fan of the moment: This small business wants you to forget about controlling your fan speed manually

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Published: September 4, 2019 5:17 PM

Atomberg Technologies, which makes smart fans, was born at the IIT Bombay incubation centre out of an idea that called for a solution to the pressing need for energy-efficient systems to overcome the challenges of the energy crisis on the horizon.

The company began with a focus on the business-to-business segment but later switched to consumer products.

Atomberg Technologies,which makes smart fans and announced raising $10 million in Series A funding round on Wednesday, was born at the IIT Bombay incubation centre out of an idea that called for a solution to the pressing need for energy-efficient systems to overcome the challenges of the energy crisis on the horizon. “So we decided to target environmentally-conscious millennial market by making existing products smarter,” Atomberg founder Manoj Meena told Financial Express Online. 

The company began with a focus on the business-to-business segment but later switched to consumer products beginning with ceiling fans because of their popularity in tropical countries and the market size “almost 60 million units manufactured every year and ease of manufacturability validated our decision,” he said. 

“Atomberg is solving real consumer problems and catering to an evolving set of Indian consumers who demand the best products. And because of their technology strength and current market position, they are well positioned to build a strong brand in the household appliances category,” said Abhay Pandey, co-founder of A91 partners who led the latest round of funding. The company had earlier raised $2.5 million from IDFC Parampara and Survam Partners.

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Launching a smart fan wasn’t just on the basis of a remote-control or Alexa and Google Assistant enabled, the innovation that was worked upon was in the motor. Atomberg used BLDC (brushless DC motor) instead of a brushed DC motor because of its advantages including high torque to weight ratio, more torque per watt, increased reliability, reduced noise that overall increases the lifetime of the motor. Moreover, it doesn’t need airflow inside the motor for cooling and hence the internal motor parts are saved from dirt.

BLDC technology facilitates easy integration of internet-of-things features. This allows users to remotely control their fans with their smartphones. Atomberg’s fans also solve the problem of manual regulation of fan speed for instance during summer nights when the temperature dips. “BLDC fans reduce power consumption without affecting performance and they automatically regulate speed based on ambient temperature and eliminate mechanical heat losses which are currently found in induction motors,” said Meena.

The low heating feature of BLDC fans is claimed to save up to 65 per cent on electricity bills. Atomberg, launched in 2011, saw a 3X growth in the past financial year with an annual revenue run rate of Rs 100 crores. Called as Gorilla fans, Meena claimed to have sold them to “almost 4 lakh households in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.”

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