Virtual Forest, a start-up that focuses on creating customer centric green technology to address global environmental challenges has completed it’s first round of funding with Napino, one of India’s largest EMS companies and a tier 1 supplier to the automotive ecosystem taking a minority (15 percent) stake in the company. Under the arrangement, Napino will also be the manufacturing partner for the intelligent controllers for the household appliance industry designed by Virtual Forest.
Virtual Forest was formally set up in November 2019, though the founder directors have been working for over 3 years on the vision of enabling IndianOEMs to localise supply chains by providing cutting edge R&D capability with very quick design to commercialisation timelines in the area of energy efficient home appliances like inverter air conditioners, BLDC ceiling fans, and solar pump controllers. In the short span of 8 months, Virtual Forest has established deep technology partnerships. They have preferred design house status with Infineon Technologies the global leader in industrial power semiconductors and preferential sourcing partnerships with major distributors. Virtual Forest has also development and supply agreements in place with large domestic appliance manufacturers enabling them to look at the viable option of reducing their dependence on China, which supplies over 80 per cent of the domestic demand for intelligent motor controllers and human interface electronics.
“The partnership with Napino gives us the manufacturing prowess needed to support the volumes that the domestic industry needs, which is growing at an average CAGR of 10%percent” says Omer Basith, a founding director andCEO of Virtual Forest. We realized early on that to be an effective partner to Indian OEMs, we need to not only bring revolutionary green tech R&D capabilities, but ability to support through the product lifecycle with state-of-the-art testing lab and world class manufacturing facilities. “We are now fully equipped to being a Virtual Lab and Virtual Factory for Indian appliance manufacturers”, he added.
Commenting on the equity stake and manufacturing partnership with Virtual Forest, Mr. Naveen Kumar CEO of Napino said “In Virtual Forest we have found a team who have been key stakeholders in the appliance and pump ecosystems for over two decades. They have a deep expertise in embedded systems development specifically in motor control engineering. This is coupled with a ground level understanding of the end user requirements, cost appetite and sector dynamics makes them an ideal partner for our foray into consumer durables”.