Zimplistic, the company that has developed a roti (flatbread) making machine called Rotimatic, is gearing up to raise an undisclosed Series C round.
It plans to use the newly raised financing to grow into two new markets — Middle East and India — in 2018. The deal is expected to be finalised in the coming months.
The company last raised a US$11.5 million Series B round back in July 2015, and a US$5 million Series A a year before that. Since then, the team has grown to over 120 strong and moved to a new office located along Science Park drive.
Pranoti Nagarkar, co-founder and CTO of Zimplistic, revealed that since the company started selling Rotimatic a year ago, 20,000 Rotimatic units have been shipped across six markets: Singapore, Australia, UK, US, New Zealand and Canada.
Those sales have netted Zimplistic about US$20 million in revenue.
Based on data gathered from the WiFi-enabled Rotimatics, which is equipped with WiFi connectivity, over 10 million flatbreads have been made — meaning that users are using Rotimatic at an average of three to four times per week.
The Zimplistic team releases Rotimatic software updates every three months so users can make different — and culturally varied — kinds of flatbreads besides Roti; these include wraps, tortillas, and gluten-free breads. Next year, January, it plans to introduce pizzas.
The Rotimatic app, which allows users to troubleshoot their device and connect with customer service assistants, is also undergoing an update. In the near future, users will be able to control the Rotimatic remotely using their smartphones.
Rishi Israni, the co-founder and CEO of Zimplistic, said that Rotimatic’s users have responded enthusiastically to the product and have even built a Facebook community group around the machine.
That group, which is public, has over 4,000 members. They share photos, videos and recipes for food they have created with Rotimatic. Today, Rotimatic’s community have shared hundreds of recipes among each other.
And while work has already started on the next iteration of Rotimatic, Zimplistic’s founders said that current product, with its 37 patents, is designed to be futureproof, meaning that updates will continuously roll out and technical support will be provided.
Over 25 per cent of the world’s population eat flatbreads, so Zimplistic, being a first mover in the flatbread making space, is optimistic about Rotimatic capturing a sizeable market share.
There have been copies or similar products that emerged, such as Rotimagic, but none have materialised or have become as prominent as Rotimatic — the device was even mentioned at Singapore Prime Minister Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech last year as an example of a Singaporean innovation.
The founders are also confident that no company would be able to fully reverse engineer’s Rotimatic’s magic. While companies might be able to replicate Rotimatic’s mechanical designs, the founders said that its proprietary software would be difficult to copy.
It leverages on machine learning and AI to adapt its system to different ingredients — and different brands of ingredients.
To illustrate, a user might insert a brand of flour or oil not suitable for roti so the first 10 or so rotis would come out slightly dodgy; but by the next 11th or 12th roti, the Rotimatic would have learned the chemical properties of the flour or oil and tweaked its process and algorithm to cater for this — so, the next batch of rotis would come out perfectly made.
The founders’ grand vision is for Rotimatic to become household kitchen essentials — as ubiquitous as rice cookers or microwaves; except that, rotis are healthier than white rice or microwaved food. So, if Rotimatics become highly successful, they could usher in a new healthy food revolution.