IIT Bombay Startup Aims for $100 Million Revenue in Five Years

Preeti Bali / 1:42 pm / March 20, 2024

SustLabs, a company incubated at IIT Bombay, has set an ambitious target of reaching $100 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) within the next five years. Their growth strategy focuses on international markets, particularly in Europe and Asia Pacific.

SustLabs specializes in developing an AI-powered system that transforms regular electricity meters into smart devices. This technology allows for real-time monitoring and prevention of potential electrical hazards. Founded in 2016 by Kaushik Bose and Soumya Bhattacharya, the company’s initial goal was to create a tool that tracks electricity usage and provides insights into appliance power consumption.

“Our mission is to empower everyday electricity users in their homes,” explained Bose, who serves as both co-founder and CEO of SustLabs. “We want to give them control and ensure their safety through their most trusted brands. Ultimately, we envision our AI becoming a core component of next-generation smart meters. Think of them as a health tracker for all your electrical appliances, like a FitBit for your entire home.”

Ohm Assistant by SustLabs: The Next Development in Home Energy Efficiency

In addition to their core AI platform, SustLabs offers a consumer product called Ohm Assistant. This real-time electricity activity tracker acts as a personal home energy assistant, helping users save on electricity bills and prioritize safety. Ohm Assistant connects directly to a home’s existing meter and provides real-time data on energy usage through a mobile app. The tracker leverages both machine learning and AI capabilities to analyze meter data and identify individual appliance usage, eliminating the need for separate sensors on each device.

In addition to well-known people like KP Balraj (founder of Sequoia India and Westbridge, who invests through his family office), Vijay Kedia (through his family office), Pashupathy Gopalan (Chairman of SunEdison), Sridhar (MD of GEF Capital), and Kedar Lele (Executive Director at Hindustan Unilever), SustLabs boasts a diverse investment portfolio.

With a current valuation of $8 million, SustLabs has also successfully licensed its AI technology to leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Schneider Electric and Legrand. This strategy allows them to integrate smart meter capabilities into a wider range of households.

The company’s AI solution addresses limitations inherent in traditional IoT and sensor-based electricity monitoring systems, which often require individual sensors on every appliance.

Bose’s Aspiring Goal: Reaching Out to the Residential Market in Europe

“Our product has the potential to be implemented in one out of every four homes globally,” stated Bose. “European residential consumers who currently drive electric cars or have solar panels installed in their homes make up our first target market. This segment alone represents a $1.2 billion opportunity (encompassing roughly 50 million households).” Bose elaborated on their multi-channel approach, which includes direct sales and partnerships with licensed manufacturers.

Since its inception in 2016, SustLabs has sold over 9,000 AI-powered “bots” and recorded more than 20,000 app downloads. The Indian smart meter market, currently valued at $223.4 million in 2023, is projected to reach a staggering $3.267 billion by 2031, reflecting a significant compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.57%.

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