Gaia Smart Cities to raise up to $20 million for expansion

NEW DELHI: Gaia Smart Cities, a venture of former Reliance Jio president and chief information officer Sumit Chowdhury, plans to raise $15-20 million from global institutions for expanding operations and funding product development targeted at smart city initiatives.

“We earlier received undisclosed funding from angel investors from Silicon Valley and Bengaluru. Now, we are preparing for next round of funding from global institutions,” Chowdhury, founder chief executive of Gaia Smart Cities, told ET. “We are already in talks with some to raise $15-20 million in coming five months.”

The funding will be used for trailing smart city solutions in multiple cities, besides helping the startup to develop smart devices on its own.The company is developing an aggregated platform of solutions, services and products for smart cities. The platform will also host solutions from software vendors and integrate with IT vendors, telecom operators and device vendors.

Gaia is developing its own smart products, software platforms and solutions, along with billing systems.Chowdhury said he plans to rope in atleast 10 startups for the aggregated platform to offer end-to-end solutions. “We have already identified three such startups,” he said.

Gaia has tied up with Stream Technologies and Advantech to roll-out connected networks for smart cities and transport, power and industrial automation solutions to target government contracts. It has seven customers, including state governments, private global consulting companies, water distribution firms and large housing societies.

“We have pilots being planned and roll-out for our products in Delhi and Pune, and we are advising on solutions for two other cities,” Chowdhury said, adding that two pilots for reading water meters remotely are also in the works.

Besides the founding team, there are 15 people working on different projects along with external consultants and service providers, who are complementing the team. “As we start the active roll-out of our pilots, we will scale up starting April,” Chowdhury said