Roti, the Indian unleavened flatbread, is a hit across the globe. Made of whole wheat, it is an alternative to white bread, and hence is extremely popular among today’s health-conscious population. So it is no surprise that Singapore-based startup Zimplistic collected more than US$5 million in the first week of pre-order sales for its cooking device Rotimatic.

The pre-order launch was only opened to consumers in Singapore and the US.

The founders

The founders

Rotimatic is said to be the brainchild of Pranoti Nagarkar, CTO and Co-founder, Zimplistic, who founded the company in 2008.

As CTO and Co-founder, Nagarkar went on to win the Start-Up Singapore competition in 2009, according to the Straits Times. Later in 2011, her husband, Rishi Israni, joined the firm as Co-founder and CEO.

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What exactly is its appeal? Why would people spend US$600 (pre-order price) just to make flatbread? This author believes that there is the attractive promise of making healthy, nutritious rotis without the hassle of kneading and cleaning up a mess. This is especially so for non-resident Indian families, who might crave local food when abroad.

Given that Rotimatic has reached its pre-order limit, interested customers in the aforementioned two markets will just have to wait for the retail sale to start later next year. According to an official statement, each unit will come at a fixed retail price of US$999.

As for those who have pre-ordered, the devices will be shipped on a first-come-first-serve basis come early-2015. Consumers in other countries can indicate their interest via this list.