The developers of a smartphone application allowing remote control of various vehicle operations including locking and unlocking it and turning it on and off have secured seed funding of $150,000 from a local corporation.
The application developed by Car Chabi, an Internet of Things (IOT) based startup, uses smartphone technology to automate various other features of vehicle operations including starting and stopping a car and turning cooling and heating on and off.
In a press statement released on the occasion, Car Chabi CEO Muhammad Ali Rashid said the startup planned to use the investment provided by Treet Corporations Limited to expand its team. “It will also allow us to do research and development of new products and consider mass production of our current product,” he said.
COO Hammad Siddiqui said the startup was considering expanding its operations to all over the country and in markets across the Middle East. He said Car Chabi would now operate and be held under a parent company named RoboArt Pvt Ltd. “The team will continue its work in the field of IoT and develop products catering to a larger audience in Pakistan,” he said.
Rashid and Hammad had met Syed Shehryar Ali, executive director at Treet Corporations, at the Punjab Information Technology Board’s technology accelerator PlanX where the startup is currently under acceleration phase. Sharing his confidence on the investment, Shehryar Ali said that automation was the future and Pakistan still had a long way to achieve its full potential. “Cell phones and laptop computers were considered a luxury a decade or two ago but they’ve become necessities now. I have no doubt in my mind that automation of products will follow this trend in years to come. Car Chabi will certainly get the first movers advantage,” he said.
Expressing his pleasure at the development, PITB chairman Dr Umar Saif said seed funding of Car Chabi was the first major investment news of the year. “Pakistan has all it needs in terms of talent. Fortunately, now this talent is being supported by local angel investors as well,” he said. He said he hoped that the country’s startup ecosystem would keep flourishing and attracting more investment this year.
Car Chabi team had come up with the idea of the remote controller application during their engineering education in Lahore. They started operations in January 2016 and managed to sell 1,000 units of their application within a year, generating a revenue of $30,000.