Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd will be investing about $1 million (~₹ 6-Crore) in Mumbai-based connected car IoT-device making startup Carsense (formerly Carnot) for 22.9% stake in Carnot Technologies Pvt Ltd, the parent company of brand name Carsense.

The funds will used by the startup to bolster its product line by strengthening technology solutions, said a report by VCCircle.

As part of the deal, Mahindra will acquire up to 1,296 equity shares and subscribe up to 6,074 compulsorily convertible cumulative preference shares of Carnot Technologies, said Mahindra, in a stock-exchange disclosure.

Founded in 2015 by IIT Bombay alumni Urmil Shah, Pushkar Limaye, Rohan Vadgaonkar and Prathamesh Joshi, Carsense is an IoT device that connects a user’s car or bike to their smartphone. The device then send alerts to users if their car/bike is being towed or stolen. It also recognises if the car/bike suffers an accident and informs emergency contacts in such a scenario. The device also measures mileage and shares analytics and insights to improve it. Using the device, car/bike owners can also share their road trips on social media platforms.

CarSense was one of the three startups selected by chipmaker Qualcomm for its Qualcomm Design in India Challenge in year 2016. Earlier in November 2015, the startup had also raised a seed round of funding from Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon, the founders of FreeCharge. In 2017, the startup launched its smar car device on online marketplace Amazon India.

Carsense posted a turnover of ₹1.2 crore in FY 2016-17.

The vehicle diagnostics market was estimated to be $13.91 Billion in 2016, and is projected to grow to $30.22 Billion by 2021, registering a CAGR of 16.79% from 2016 to 2021.

With Carsense, Mahindra is probably aims to capture the piece of vehicle diagnostic market in India as it is to be noted that in 2012 Mahindra introduced the BLUE SENSE app for the XUV50, an SUV it manufactures. This app could sync with the vehicle's infotainment system via Bluetooth and users were not only able to control the music / radio channels but also view vehicle information on their smartphone such as climate control, distance to empty, tyre pressure, vehicle service reminder, door-open warning etc. However, it was limited to android phones only. Mahindra however couldn't succeed with this and over the time it became obsolete.

Last week, Mahindra picked up a 16% stake in Bengaluru-based self-drive car rental startup Zoomcar for $27.6 million as part of a Series C round of funding worth $40 million (Rs 256 crore).

Before that, an another homegrown automobile components major Bharat Forge picked up 45% stake in Pune-based electric vehicle startup TORK.

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